As difficult as it may be to believe, in times of tight budget constraints law enforcement -- in a never-ending devotion to duty -- is somehow finding the resources to hand out a boatload of traffic tickets and ramp up efforts to collect on outstanding fines.
So far it's a three-pronged attack:
1. HPD is implementing another amnesty for paying off outstanding warrants, where you won't be charged all your late fees; it comes, of course, with the warning that if you don't settle up, some officer will be knocking on your door or office cubicle and dragging you downtown.
"Our message is simple," HPD officer Jonathan Zera said today. "Anyone with overdue citations needs to take care of them now, before the amnesty period ends. Afterwards, HPD will have officers serving warrants throughout the city. Please avoid the potential embarrassment of being arrested in front of co-workers, friends, or family and take advantage of this program while it is offered."
2. If you do go downtown to pay off your fines and are using the Southwest Freeway, don't go crossing any double white lines. KPRC reports that HPD has stepped up enforcement of such tickets, ostensibly because motorists have been grumbling about others cutting in.
Watch out if you're near the 59/527 Spur or the 59/610 West Loop intersection.
Paul Kubosh, the attorney who led the fight against redlight cameras, doesn't believe HPD's rationale. "I do not believe they'll have any statistics for accidents showing that there's an accident problem at the places where they're enforcing this," he told KPRC. 3. DPS is starting another "Click It or Ticket" campaign. From May 23 to June 5, DPS officers are going to be handing out as many seat-belt tickets as they can.
"State law requires everyone in the vehicle to be restrained no matter where they are seated," DPS's David G. Baker said. "Seat belts save lives, and that is the primary reason to buckle up, but we will have a zero-tolerance policy during this period, and violators will be ticketed if need be."
As we say, it's simply remarkable that these above-and-beyond efforts come at the time of tight budgets.