Red-Light Cameras in Dilemma Zone Until Next Week

andy taylor ats.jpg
Photo by Mandy Oaklander
Andy Taylor, counsel for ATS, tells Houston to pay up if they renege.
In today's special-edition episode of Houston versus (?) Red-Light Cameras, the mayor and city council could have turned off the cameras -- immediately and forever. But no decision was made.

Within half a second of Parker introducing the item, council jumped on it. Sue Lovell got to her buzzer first, tagging it. This stopped action on the issue until next week.

"Councilmember Lovell has tagged the item," Parker said, "We end this discussion."

C.O. Bradford motioned to override the tag, seconded by fellow red-light camera opponent Jolanda Jones. But Parker didn't budge. "The administration actually agrees with councilmember Lovell. It might be prudent to allow the mediation to proceed." With a quick 8-4 vote, the override was overturned, saving Houston's ass for another half-week.

Two additional councilmembers, Ed Gonzalez and Al Hoang, tagged the item, and Parker adjourned the meeting.

So died Councilmember Mike Sullivan's ill-fated amendment, one that would insist that the cameras be physically removed -- a violation of a federal judge's order not to touch the cameras while litigation is pending. Sullivan submitted it too late, which is really good news for everyone.

The City of Houston and American Traffic Solutions, the camera company, will go into mediation this weekend, said Parker. In their sure-to-be fun-filled weekend retreat, the city and ATS will try to resolve the dispute about the contract. "There's been a lot of numbers thrown around, and we need a mediation," she said.

The numbers she references are, at the highest, $25 million -- a number ATS chief counsel Andy Taylor said the camera company will be owed if the city breaches its contract. He'd prefer the city to honor its contract until it expires in 2014.

"The taxpayers are the ones who are going to lose out here," Taylor said.


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9 comments
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Mediation Jobs
Mediation Jobs

good read. I would say when giving advice to self pleasure to the bible you should recommend passages from Songs of Solomon. Some of that is pretty graphic.

Youssef
Youssef

Take them down already.

Baytown Redlightcameras
Baytown Redlightcameras

It is all a smoke screen, Parker said before that anyone that tagged the item would be playing games now she is doing just that. It will get tagged by Parker's friend Lovell on Wednesday too. What will happen is Parker will come out and say ATS won't budge and it will cost too much to turn the cameras off and she did her best and she is SO sorry, but she REALLY REALLY wanted to listen to the vote.

Mr. Blonde
Mr. Blonde

Meanwhile, Parker has started talking about how term limits need to be revised.  As if she will have a second term....

H_e_x
H_e_x

I doubt that red light cameras are the biggest issue around. I'd like to think something is more important in the mind of the voters.

Baytown Redlightcameras
Baytown Redlightcameras

I wonder what issue could be more important than overriding the stated will of the electorate or trying to justify a revenue program in the name of safety that actually increases accidents.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Fair enough. I think it's a little bit more complicated, but yeah, they should have listened.

Al
Al

As badly as the cameras need to go Parker must find the lowest cost solution for the taxpayers. The bottom feeders at Traffic Solutions must understand many are not in love with their product. If the city truly wants to make intersections safer for all users I suggest city council dictate the Yellow light cycles be increased to 5 seconds duration. Survey after survey has shown both rear end & side collisions drastically reduced with this no cost initiative.

Brian Ceccarelli
Brian Ceccarelli

Funny the title mentions the "Dilemma Zone."   For that is exactly the reason why red light camera enforcment is illegal all over the world.   The formula the world's traffic engineers use to set the yellow light durations violates Newton's Second Law of Motion, that violation creating the dilemma zone.    It is the dilemma zone that forces millions of drivers each year to run red lights and 100,000 drivers to crash each year.    Any legislation enforcing a standard which countermands the Laws of Nature is null and void.   That legal precedent is called the Canute Rule.   Just like Canute could not legislate the stopping the tides, cities like Houston cannot legislate the forbidding of Newton's Laws of Motion.

See redlightrobber.com for the mathematical proof.

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