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5/22/2007
Texas Legislature Bans Speed Cameras
Bills banning speed cameras and requiring warning signs for the use of red light cameras head to the Texas governor.

Bill CallegariThe Texas state legislature gave final approval yesterday to a bill banning speed cameras and requiring red light camera warning signs. Both measures were adopted in the state House by unanimous votes -- the speed camera ban, HB 922, on May 2 (bill text) and the warning sign bill, HB 1052, on April 19.

The warning sign legislation, authored by state Representative Bill Callegari (R-Katy), invalidates any red light camera ticket if motorists do not have advance notice of the presence of a ticketing machine at least 100 feet before the intersection. The speed camera ban, sponsored by state Representative Vicki Truitt (R-Southlake), puts an end to ticketing programs run by the cities of Rhome and Marble Falls. All other cities would be prohibited from issuing automated speeding tickets.

Both bills become law if signed by Governor Rick Perry (R).

Article Excerpt:
By: Callegari H.B. No. 1052

A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
AN ACT
relating to requiring warning signs before intersections at which a municipality uses a photographic traffic monitoring system to enforce compliance with a traffic-control signal.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:

SECTION 1. Chapter 544, Transportation Code, is amended by adding Section 544.012 to read as follows:
Sec. 544.012. NOTIFICATION OF PHOTOGRAPHIC TRAFFIC MONITORING SYSTEM. (a) In this section:

(1) "Photographic traffic monitoring system" means a system that:
(A) consists of a camera and vehicle sensor installed to work in conjunction with an electrically operated traffic-control signal; and
(B) is capable of producing one or more recorded images that depict the license plate attached to a motor vehicle that is not operated in compliance with the instructions of the traffic-control signal.

(2) "Recorded image" means an image that:
(A) depicts a motor vehicle; and
(B) is automatically recorded on a photograph or digital image.
(b) This section applies only to a municipality that pursuant to an ordinance of the municipality employs a photographic traffic monitoring system to enforce compliance with the instructions of traffic-control signals in the municipality.
(c) The municipality shall install signs along each roadway that leads to an intersection at which a photographic traffic monitoring system is in active use. The signs must be at least 100 feet from the intersection or located according to standards established in the manual adopted by the Texas Transportation Commission under Section 544.001, be easily readable to any operator approaching the intersection, and clearly indicate the presence of a photographic monitoring system that records violations that may result in the issuance of a notice of violation and the imposition of a monetary penalty.
(d) A municipality that fails to comply with Subsection (c) may not impose or attempt to impose a civil or administrative penalty against a person, including the owner of a motor vehicle or an operator, for a failure to comply with the instructions of a traffic-control signal located at the applicable intersection.
(e) Subsection (d) does not prohibit a peace officer from arresting or issuing a citation and notice to appear to a person whom the officer observes to have failed to comply with the instructions of a traffic-control signal located at the intersection.

SECTION 2. This Act takes effect September 1, 2007.



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