There is a debate across Texas as to the effectiveness and constitutionality of red light cameras. A new bill filed by Rep. Johnathan Stickland is aiming to make them illegal. How does San Angelo factor in to this discussion? For the most part, it doesn’t.
“Currently the city of San Angelo does not have red light cameras,” said Dustin Hohensee, Traffic Operations Superintendent for San Angelo. “The cameras that we do have in place are for traffic actuation or traffic signal actuation to help move traffic safely and more efficiently through intersections and down our roadways throughout the city.”
San Angelo currently only has traffic control cameras and emergency vehicle sensors, none of which are capable of recording images. To improve safety for city workers, and cut back on maintenance costs, the city is proceeding with replacement of the standard cameras with wide-angle cameras that can see more traffic with fewer installations. The new cameras, like the old, are not able to record images.
The Traffic Operations Department can make decisions such as upgrading from the standard cameras to the wide angle cameras. When it comes to enforcement infrastructure such as red light cameras though, that decision falls to the police department and city council. It is a decision that they may never get to make, pending the legislation in Austin.
Due to that fact, the discussion might not feel so close to home for many in San Angelo. But in terms of any potential future city planning, it could impact the city. House Bill 1631 reportedly has more bipartisan support this session than any of the other legislation under consideration.
Public opinion across San Angelo is split, as can be seen by the social media poll results posted above. But many believe that a red light camera program is unnecessary. Either because they distract drivers, or because they feel officers are best equipped to handle infractions, and as of this report neither the city nor SAPD are pursuing or discussing such a program.