The money machine has been cranked up in full: The Houston Police Department reports that in the first six days of returning to operations, the city's 67 red-light cameras racked up more than 2,700 citations issued to drivers.
Those lucky drivers will be getting notices from American Traffic Solutions, the contractor who runs the system and insisted the city turn it back on after a federal judge ruled a referendum where votes called for their removal was invalid.
The cameras went back on at 12:01 a.m. July 31.
HPD's Jody Silva tells Hair Balls that between then and August 5, the department has authorized ATS to send out 2,713 citations.
That number came after ATS sent 2,861 possible citations to be reviewed by HPD.
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The cameras actually recorded 10,550 incidents during that span, but the vast majority involved non-offenses like right turns on reds.
Silva says the number of citations in the period is not unusual.
"We have 67 sites working 24 hours a day," she says. "And those intersections have been targeted because they have a high amount of accidents. They're all busy intersections."
The city hasn't yet seen its first precious red-light camera cash since the system's return, but it will be coming soon.