I would have preferred that the Texas Legislature just prohibited Texas municipalities from installing red light cameras at all. There wasn't the support for that, apparently, so they did the next best thing: they forced municipalities to put their money where their mouths are:
Sec. 707.008. DEPOSIT OF REVENUE FROM CERTAIN TRAFFIC PENALTIES. (a) Not later than the 60th day after the end of a local authority's fiscal year, after deducting amounts the local authority is authorized by Subsection (b) to retain, the local authority shall: (1) send 50 percent of the revenue derived from civil or administrative penalties collected by the local authority under this section to the comptroller for deposit to the credit of the regional trauma account established under Section 782.002, Health and Safety Code; and (2) deposit the remainder of the revenue in a special account in the local authority's treasury that may be used only to fund traffic safety programs, including pedestrian safety programs, public safety programs, intersection improvements, and traffic enforcement.In other words, half of the money collected in fines by way of red light cameras goes to the state. The other half can only be used to fund traffic safety and enforcement programs. This bill removes the financial incentive for local governments to degrade traffic safety to increase the fines they collect because they no longer get any general-fund money from those fines. Not only that, but the bill also requires local governments that install red light cameras to report yearly to the state about the incidence and severity of accidents at intersections with the red light cameras and to evaluate whether the red light cameras are helping or hurting public safety.
I don't think the results will be favorable to red light cameras, but let's see what happens. Of course, local governments may stop rolling these these things out now; so we may not get much of a trial.
Let's hope that Governor Perry signs this bill forthwith.