Bills filed regarding red-light cameras could affect several cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth region

At least three bills related to red-light cameras have been filed by Texas lawmakers to be considered during the 86th legislative session, which began Jan. 8.

Two of the bills are seeking to ban cameras outright while a third seeks to add new regulations. Several cities in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, including Frisco, Plano and Southlake, currently operate red-light cameras within their city limits.

In 2007, former Gov. Rick Perry signed into law Senate Bill 1119, which authorized cities across the state to install and activate red-light cameras to detect traffic signal violations. Since then, lawmakers have considered repealing the law.

Gov. Greg Abbott also took a stance when he recommended the prohibition of these cameras in his “Safeguarding, Securing, Serving” plan published in September. Abbott’s plan labels these camera systems as costly and ineffective while citing issues with constitutionality and transparency.

Following the publication of Abbott’s plan, State Sen. Bob Hall, R-Edgewood, and state Rep. Ed Thompson, R-Pearland, have filed SB 77 and House Bill 262. Both bills would ban cities or other municipalities from using red-light cameras to issue citations. Cities with existing systems would be allowed to continue their operations until contracts with camera service providers expires, under the proposed bills.

Alternatively, state Rep. Jim Murphy, R-Houston, filed HB 537 to better regulate red-light cameras. His bill would mandate cities conduct an independent engineering study at least once every five years after the camera systems’ implementation. Cities are already required to conduct one before the cameras are installed. The study would determine if an alternative solution would be more effective in reducing red-light violations at a particular intersection.

Richardson has suspended its red-light camera program for the time being, according to the city website. The decision followed a 2016 court ruling over a lawsuit filed by plaintiff Russell Bowman who received a red-light camera notice of violation. The state's 134th Judicial District Court declared Bowman not liable for the violation. However, the Fifth District Court of Appeals reversed that decision on appeal. Bowman filed a petition for review with the Texas Supreme Court in July, according to court documents.

More information about the filed bills can be found here.
By Renee Yan
Renee Yan graduated May 2017 from the University of Texas in Arlington with a degree in journalism, joining Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in July.


MOST RECENT

Person.
Promenade Clocks has offered sales, repair services in Richardson for nearly 50 years

Like an antique timepiece, Promenade Clocks has changed hands a few times since it opened in Richardson’s Promenade Shopping Center in 1972.

Store.
Lombardo Custom Apparel relocates to Richardson

The store offers custom suits and a range of apparel.

Restaurateur Dale Wamstad's new eatery Rooster Town Wafflery opened in Richardson on April 21. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
Breakfast, lunch spot opens in Richardson; Ono Poke coming to Southlake and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Building.
Dale Wamstad opens breakfast, lunch spot Rooster Town Wafflery in Richardson

The cafe's menu includes classic breakfast items as well as dishes such as avocado toast on sourdough and Belgian waffles with fried chicken.

Romeo's Pizza is looking to open in Frisco. (Courtesy Romeo's Pizza)
Romeo's Pizza coming to Frisco; steak, seafood lounge returning to Plano and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

As part of President Joe Biden’s plan to reopen schools safely nationwide, the department’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option is being expanded beyond the summertime. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
USDA extends free school meals provision through 2021-22 school year

Schools nationwide will be able to serve nutritious meals to all students free of charge regardless of eligibility through June 30, 2022, officials announced.

school board meeting
Plano ISD planning for full return to classrooms in 2021-22

Plano ISD staff told trustees in a work session April 20 that their instructional plan for next year is being built around the idea that everybody is coming back in person.

The company also has plans for another location in Northeast Fort Worth. (Courtesy Starbucks)
Starbucks coming to Fort Worth; Makers Gym opens in Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Huitlacoche quesadillas.
Vegetarian restaurant Lahla's Plant Kitchen now open in Richardson

The restaurant offers vegetarian and vegan takes on classic comfort food dishes from around the world.

The Belt Main development will include 15,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, 350 multifamily units and around 100 townhomes. (Rendering courtesy Catalyst Urban Development)
New development to bring multifamily units, shopping to Richardson Core District

The project will include 15,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, 350 multifamily units that will be available for lease and 7,000 square feet of resident amenities.

Richardson ISD board meeting.
Richardson ISD considering plan to address student learning loss

Richardson ISD staff presented the board of trustees with an academic acceleration plan designed to address student learning gaps due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Continued growth at Legacy West in Plano is helping to boost the local economy, according to the county’s 2020 comprehensive annual financial report. (Courtesy Legacy West)
Collin County finances healthy despite pandemic, report shows

Considering challenges officials faced last year, Collin County’s bottom line is “extremely healthy,” an independent auditor told county commissioners at their April 19 meeting.