1/21/2015Arlington, Texas Residents Rally To Ban Red Light Cameras
Petitions submitted in Arlington, Texas calling for a vote to outlaw red light cameras.
Residents of Arlington, Texas took to the steps of city hall Tuesday to demand a vote on outlawing the use of red light cameras. The group Citizens for a Better Arlington came armed with the signatures of 11,402 fellow voters -- more than the 9651 needed to force a proposition onto the ballot.
"They keep talking about safety, and yet they've done absolutely nothing to ensure that the cameras have been installed for safety," initiative coordinator Faith Bussey told TheNewspaper. "They're obviously not looking at the data post-installment, which prove that they're not keeping people safer."
If the city secretary certifies the signatures as valid, the city council under state law has a mandatory duty to place the item on the ballot for the May 9 election. Voters would then be asked to approve a charter amendment similar to those adopted in Conroe, Dayton, Houston, Baytown, League City and College Station.
"The city of Arlington shall not use photographic traffic signal enforcement systems to civilly, criminally, or administratively enforce any state law or city ordinance against the owner or operator of a vehicle operated in violation of a traffic control signal, specified by Section 544.007(d) of the Texas Transportation Code, nor shall it collect any money from any recipient of a notice of violation issued, in whole or in part, in connection with the use of a photographic traffic signal enforcement system," the proposal states.
Although the Arlington effort was organized by a Tea Party activists, that has not stopped voters on all sides of the political spectrum from getting invovled.
"It didn't matter if the people coming up the aisle were Democrats or Republicans, they would see our table and make a bee-line to it," Bussey explained. "It's definitely a non-partisan issue."
Signatures were gathered at polling places during early voting and on Election Day to ensure that the list presented to the city secretary would only contain registered voters. Almost as many signed the proposal to ban cameras as voted in the last municipal election. That, Bussey says, should serve as a warning to city council members who might attempt to use legal tricks, as Houston tried to do, to keep voters from having a say on this issue.
"This will be a full-blown campaign," Bussey said. "We will definitely be educating people and getting out the vote, supporting any candidates who may be running for local office and are on our side."