Could millions in Austin red light camera fines be nullified?

image: camera lens

Law enforcement by camera

Is it possible that nearly $6 million in citations generated by red light cameras were issued illegally over the past eight years in Austin?

Bryon Schirmbeck, who has led a long, lonely fight against the cameras in Texas, said the city has been unable to show it ever did an engineering study to establish the case for the cameras before they first went into operation in May 2008.

What’s at stake for the city is an average of $735,000 a year through an average of 9,800 annual citations for red light camera violations.

“So, what it would boil down to is that every single ticket Austin has ever issued has been illegal,” Schirmbeck contends. “They never had the authority from the state to issue them since they didn’t meet the statutory requirements to impose the civil penalty.”

Schirmbeck, Texas coordinator for the national Campaign for Liberty, said he can find no evidence Austin established a citizen’s advisory committee to review and make recommendations based on the engineering study to the City Council.

Read the rest of the story by Watchdog.org’s Mark Lisheron here.

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