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Gov. Abbott questions constitutionality of red light cameras, wants them banned in Texas

Gov. Greg Abbott said he wants lawmakers to ban cities from using the devices.

AUSTIN — The state of Texas may hit the brakes on red light cameras.

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday he wants lawmakers to ban cities from using the devices, which takes a picture of a vehicle once it enters an intersection and the traffic signal has turned red.

In Abbott's Bicentennial Blueprint document, he claims the cameras don't increase safety and actually lead to more rear-end crashes because drivers brake harder and faster to avoid tickets.


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Also, he said the cameras pose a constitutional issue because they render a driver guilty until they're proven innocent.

Abbott noted that the devices are expensive and can cost more than $100,000 to install. According to Abbott, it's difficult to prosecute violators because penalties are unclear and violations are only recorded as a civil penalty and are not marked on a person's driving record. In Austin, Abbott said "tickets totaling more than $800,000...were not paid."

Abbott said there have been countless attempts since 2014 to repeal red light camera ordinances but none have made it to the governor's desk.

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