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Houston, Dallas Plan to Spend Red Light Revenue
Two of the biggest cities in Texas plan to use red light camera money for police and city bureaucrat pay raises.

Houston Chief Harold Hurtt
Two of the biggest cities in Texas, Houston and Dallas, are busy planning to spend red light camera revenue before the systems have even begun issuing tickets. On Friday, Houston's cameras will begin targeting motorists. Police Chief Harold Hurtt announced the program's expected $6 million in annual profit will be directed to pay police officers more as they work less.

"This is a great opportunity for us to use technology so we won't have to use officers as much for traffic enforcement," the Houston Chronicle reports Hurtt saying as he unveiled the system.

In Dallas, the city council debated the 2006-07 budget Monday facing a surplus of funds from tax revenue. Although some city councilmen want to use the additional funds available from red light cameras to reduce taxes, the Dallas Morning News reports others want to use it to create ex-convict job placement programs and large pay raises for city workers.

Source: Start smiling at red lights Friday (Houston Chronicle, 8/29/2006)

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