A few months ago, I wrote a post about stoplight cameras popping up at intersections in Austin. Since that time, the intersection cameras have also been installed in many other Texas cities, and in many other cities nationwide. For those out of the loop, these are cameras that are installed at intersections, and the cameras can take photos of cars running red lights or committing other traffic offenses. It allows cities to generate ticket offenses without having to pay a police officer.
As it turns out, whenever a city turns the issue of stoplight cameras over to the voters, the cameras are soundly defeated. People like intersection cameras about as much as they like a speed trap. Not surprisingly, this creates a problem, because the cities generate lots of money from the traffic cases they generate. Additionally, the cities have contracts in effect with the companies who own the camera equipment in place, so some pretty hot legal and financial action would be kicked up by shutting all the cameras off. Dallas Morning News ran a good article weeks ago that explains it rather well. You can see it here.