For the second time in a month, Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday postponed a vote on an agreement with the city to block vehicle registrations for red-light camera violators who do not pay their fines.
Court members said they would not consider the $36,000-a-year contract until it is approved by City Council, and even then made no guarantees they would OK the arrangement.
Compared to the previous story, the rhetoric wasn’t that strong. Judge Emmett wanted proof that the cameras aren’t incorrectly catching people who turn right on red. The cameras have been generating tickets for those who fail to stop before making those turns for two years now, so it shouldn’t be too hard to come up with some data. Commissioner Eversole wanted some assurance about costs. Nobody appeared to draw any lines in the sand, for what that’s worth.
This bit interested me as well:
About one in four violators caught on camera do not pay the civil fines, [Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Vicki] King said. Among them are 500 drivers who have at least four violations, King said.
I’m curious – how many people have been caught multiple times by the cameras, and what percentage of those caught do the repeat offenders represent? Seems to me that if a significant portion of those getting tickets are the same people over and over again, it should change the nature of the argument over the cameras. Is this data available somewhere, or do I need to request it?