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11/14/2007
Texas City May Dump Red Light Cameras Due to New Law
A new state law has made Nederland, Texas consider dropping its red light camera contract.

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At least one of the dozens of Texas cities that had rushed to ink a contract with a red light camera vendor just days before legal restrictions took effect on September 1 is showing signs of remorse. In Nederland, a city of 17,000 near Beaumont, the chief of police does not think the cameras are such a good deal anymore.

"Due to the size of our city, the amount of traffic we have in the city, and the additional restrictions placed on cities by the legislature it appears to me it would be a waste of manpower to participate in the program," Police Chief Darrell Bush wrote in a memo to the city manager.

On September 1, a law took effect mandating flat-rate contracts for red light camera programs in Texas.

Nederland approved a contract with ATS on August 27 which included a clause allowing the city to back out if it acted by December 25. Nederland does not want to be locked into a five-year deal where there is a possibility that the public safety program might cost money to operate, rather than generate revenue for the city budget. It also does not want to be stuck with a program that may be canceled by the legislature within two years.

Nederland's city council will decide at its December meeting whether to cancel the cameras.



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