Texas Supreme Court could decide legality of red-light cameras

From the Austin American-Statesman:

Repeated efforts to outlaw red-light cameras have fallen short at the Legislature, but an array of lawsuits is moving forward that could doom the traffic enforcement devices used by Austin and dozens of other Texas cities.

Three cases at the Texas Supreme Court, and three other challenges awaiting action in lower-level appeals courts, represent a coordinated attack against the automated cameras, which snap photos of traffic violations at certain marked intersections, leading to mailed tickets that typically carry a $75 fine.

image: camera lens

Law enforcement by camera.

The common thread in the six cases is Russell Bowman, an insurance lawyer from Irving who became an adamant foe of red-light cameras after one nabbed his car running a red light in Richardson in 2014.

“That’s what started this whole thing. I didn’t know anything about these damn things until then,” Bowman said recently.

After researching the 2007 state law that allowed cities to place traffic cameras at intersections, Bowman sued Richardson, arguing that the cameras should be shut down for numerous violations of the Texas Constitution — including the right to a presumption of innocence and the right to confront an accuser.

A state district judge agreed with Bowman. As news of his legal fight spread, others came to Bowman and fellow lawyer Scott Stewart to sue over camera-generated tickets in Amarillo, Willis, Diboll, Southlake, Sugar Land and Willis.

Read the rest of the story here.

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