10/19/2006Texas Cities Embrace Automated Speed Traps
Small towns in Texas return to the idea of using machines to run automated speed traps.
The owners of vehicles passing through small Texas towns on high-volume roads will soon be hit with speed camera fines in the mail. The Austin suburb of Marble Falls has allowed a private vendor Nestor to charge $100 to those traveling with the flow of traffic on Highway 281 and RM1431. Nestor keeps a $25 bounty for each ticket the company is able to issue. Ticketing begins in three weeks.
In the North Texas city of Rhome, the police chief wants to expand his current ticketing force of five officers with machines. A camera will soon target motorists passing through on Highway 114 as Rhome officials have also bought into the sales pitch given by Nestor. The company has been traveling the state in a desperate attempt to shore up its stock price before its listing is removed from the Nasdaq stock exchange.
This is not the first time cities have tried this method of revenue enhancement. La Marque and Friendswood briefly experimented with speed cameras twenty years ago. The program lasted less than a year. "You could say there was a good bit of unhappiness," La Marque's former mayor Jack Nash told the Los Angeles Times.