Lawyer To Sue To Get That Secret Red-Light Camera Study

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Houston civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen says he is going to sue the city for refusing to hand over any information whatsoever concerning a red-light camera traffic-safety study conducted by a Rice University professor.

Kallinen says he talked to the study's author, Professor Robert Stein, and knows the report is completed and shows data that is "in direct odds to" a Texas A&M study recently released stating that red light cameras reduce accidents by 30 percent across the state.

Kallinen has twice requested the report under the Texas Public Information Act, and says he has twice been denied. Patrick Trahan, spokesman for Mayor Bill White, has said the report is still in draft form, meaning technically the city is not in possession of the report, and therefore cannot release it. Trahan also told Hair Balls Tuesday he expects the city to release the report "in the next couple of days."

Still, on Wednesday Kallinen says he received a letter from the city saying it is forwarding his request to the Attorney General for a ruling on whether it has to fork over the report and related information.

"The law unequivocally states that draft reports are public records and documents in the hands of people contracting with the city are public record," says Kallinen. "So, there's no exception for the report or the other documents I've requested that they won't give me, such as the contracts to have the study done or any emails. It's hard to believe there's not one email about this study. But they won't give me nothing."

Kallinen says he will file the lawsuit as quickly as possible.

"If people do something incorrect," he says, "you shouldn't wait too long until there's a consequence. The people need to know, for their own safety, the results of the completed or draft Rice University study so they can make a decision whether or not to continue the use of the red light cameras in Houston."

-- Chris Vogel

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.