At least three bills related to red-light cameras have been filed by Texas lawmakers to be considered during the 86th legislative session, which began Jan. 8.
Two of the bills are seeking to ban cameras outright while a third seeks to add new regulations. Several cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, including Frisco, Plano and Southlake, currently operate red-light cameras within their city limits.
In 2007, former Gov. Rick Perry signed into law Senate Bill 1119, which authorized cities across the state to install and activate red-light cameras to detect traffic signal violations. Since then, lawmakers have considered repealing the law.
Gov. Greg Abbott also took a stance when he recommended the prohibition of these cameras in his “Safeguarding, Securing, Serving” plan published in September. Abbott’s plan labels these camera systems as costly and ineffective while citing issues with constitutionality and transparency.
Following the publication of Abbott’s plan, State Sen. Bob Hall, R-Edgewood, and state Rep. Ed Thompson, R-Pearland, have filed SB 77 and House Bill 262. Both bills would ban cities or other municipalities from using red-light cameras to issue citations. Cities with existing systems would be allowed to continue their operations until contracts with camera service providers expires, under the proposed bills.