The 10 Most Lucrative Red-Light Cameras in Houston

Categories: Courts

Monica Fuentes
As we noted earlier this week, Houston's red-light camera cash cow money machine is up and running at full speed again, with more than 2,700 citations issued in the first six days of operation.

So everyone should be careful out there unless they want to get hit with a bothersome fine.

Especially if they're at one of these ten intersections. Records obtained by Hair Balls under an Open Records Act request show a camera-by-camera breakdown of revenue in the city since the cameras first went up in 2006. (Click here for an enlarged version of the above map.)

The ten biggest moneymakers:

1) Southbound West Loop at San Felipe -- $33,297
2) Northbound Hillcroft at Southwest Freeway, east service road -- $33,222
3) Southbound Sam Houston Parkway at Beechnut -- $32,519
4) Southbound Southwest Freeway at Bellaire -- $26,702
5) Southbound Hollister at Northwest Freeway, east service road -- $26, 631
6) Eastbound Beechnut at Sam Houston Parkway, west service road -- $26, 455
7) Eastbound Beechnut at South Gessner -- $25,109
8) Eastbound FM 2351 at Gulf Freeway, west service road-- $23,548
9) Westbound East Freeway south service road at Normandy-- $22,370
10) Westbound Sam Houston Parkway east/north service road at Telephone -- $21,657

The city says the dollar amounts represent "revenues collected (gross amount before operating costs and 50 percent to the state)." According to that calculation, the cameras have brought in $52,839,573 since 2006.

The cameras have their good months and bad ("good" and "bad" can be defined according to your view of the program). For instance, the top revenue-producer, the camera at the West Loop and San Felipe, produced anywhere from $1,250 in August 2009 to $156 in February 2010.

The lowest in terms of revenue? Northbound Brazos at Elgin, which has brought in just $2,317 although it's been up since September 2006. Some months -- February, March and April of 2009, to be specific -- it only generated $15.

(By the way, the Houston Chronicle reports late Friday night that Mayor Annise Parker might be introducing a motion to council to turn the cameras off again.)

Here's the full report:

Red-Light Camera Revenue

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I like it, just don't pay it.


If they stop the rolling rights, I'll get on board.


It may now be possible to prohibit the issuance of automated rollingright tickets in Houston - without giving ATS a further cause of action. The Tennessee legislature recently passed just such a prohibition, and earlierthis week the Tennessee Attorney General wrote Opinion 11-61 about that newlaw.  He argued that a ban on rolling right tickets would not "impair"a contract.  He wrote:  "While Chapter 425 might arguablydiminish the income received under a revenue-sharing agreement by reducing thenumber of traffic citations issued, any expected revenue stream was alwaysnecessarily contingent on the citizens of the state violating the law incertain numbers. That contingency tends to suggest that the parties have no'vested right' in a particular level of revenue."

Such a ban could be enacted by the state legislature, or the city council, or by citizens' initiative.

To read Opinion 11-61, Google Tennessee attorney generalopinion 11-61.


I can speak from experience that some of the worst red light offenders are in southwest Houston and near the Galleria. I've seen people go zipping through that light at San Felipe and 610 WELL after the light was red. I'm surprised there aren't more accidents there.


The important thing to remember is that absolutely NOTHING happens if you dont pay the fine.  The will not deny registration, it does not go on your credit, you will not have a warrant issued.  If people just ignore them and stops giving them money, eventually they will begin to lose revenue and they will kill the contract with the city of Houston, which will give the citizens exactly what they "voted" for!!!!


So let me get this right, Houstonians rarely run red-lights in the other parts of town like for instance Downtown?!?  Why are they all in SW Houston?  Wtf?!?

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