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If The Light Was Working, So Was The Red-Light Camera

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Houstonians have spent the past week happily flipping the bird to the tollbooths along the Sam Houston Parkway and other pay-to-ride roadways.

What about the infamous red-light cameras, though? Did we get a pass on those, too, in the wake of Ike?

Only if the intersection in question was shut down because of a lack of power, HPD says.

Houston Police are assessing the city’s nearly 70 intersections equipped with red-light cameras, HPD spokesman Victor Senties told Hair Balls this morning. In cases where the traffic lights aren’t working, or where other damage would have prevented the normal course of traffic, no citations will be issued.

"The system is set up in a way that if it is not working properly, you cannot have a citation issued,” Senties said.

But for those scofflaws who breezed through red lights where intersections eluded Ike’s furious finger, you can still expect a citation. (That whole thing where tolls were suspended at tollroads doesn’t apply to cameras at intersections that remained fully functional).

However, if you get a citation and believe the intersection was screwed up by the storm, you should follow the same appeals process, Senties said. Everything you ever wanted to know about red-light cameras but were afraid to ask – including requesting a hearing – can be found here.

-- Craig Malisow

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