On Saturday afternoon, Gov. Greg Abbott announced via Twitter that he had signed a piece of legislation that bans red light cameras statewide.
The bill Gov. Abbott signed, House Bill 1631, passed the Texas Senate 23-8 in mid-May and the Governor had until June 16 to sign it into law or veto it. Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, filed the bill, which was backed by nearly 100 lawmakers and co-authors.
According to State Sen. Bob Hall, R-Edgewood, who sponsored the bill:
“Red light cameras violate the right to due process guaranteed under Article I of the Constitution by creating a presumption that the registered owner of the car committed a violation when in fact that may not have been the case.“
Earlier this year, a KXAN investigation showed most red light cameras are not in compliance with state law and could be operating illegally — possibly including in Austin. KXAN’s research found there was no official engineering study for cameras at nine intersections in Austin — and the cameras had produced $5.6 million in fines for the city over eight years.
The law banning red light cameras will go into effect Sept. 1 but some cameras may not be removed immediately because of an amendment that lets cities keep them in place until contracts with private companies expire.