1/11/2018Effort To Ban Red Light Cameras Begins In Ft Worth, Texas
Ballot measure to ban the use of red light cameras introduced in Fort Worth, Texas.
A group of activists on Wednesday evening kicked off an effort to make Fort Worth the eighth Texas city where voters outlaw the use of red light cameras. Kelly Canon, leader of the successful anti-camera ballot drive in neighboring Arlington two years ago, gave volunteers an idea of what to expect when collecting the signatures needed to give voters a say in whether cameras are used in the city or not.
"Welcome to the easiest campaign you will ever work on," Canon told the crowd. "If we are successful, and I feel we will be, we are hoping to send a very strong message to our state legislature."
Canon explained that members of the public were so enthusiastic to sign the Arlington petition that people were tracking her down just so they could sign it. Two hundred signed per day at just one collection location. In more conventional political campaign efforts, signature gatherers have to go out and find people willing to sign.
The proposed amendment to the city charter simply states that Fort Worth shall not use photographic traffic signal enforcement systems. It also prohibits the collection of camera-based fines. If 20,000 valid signatures are collected by July 3, the measure will qualify for the ballot. Canon said she got involved in putting the Fort Worth ballot initiative together after noticing the city placed three of its cameras on the border with Arlington.
The grassroots volunteers will operate under the name Citizens for a Better Texas PAC. They hope to raise money through modest donations to fight the photo enforcement industry, which poured money into a slick marketing campaign in a failed attempt to convince Arlington residents to keep the cameras.
"We didn't need a lot of money because the message was there," Canon explained.
The ban effort in Fort Worth gained extra momentum after federal prosecutors brought corruption charges against a key player in the school bus ticket cameras program in nearby Dallas. So far, voters overturned the action of city councils in Conroe, Dayton, Houston, Baytown, League City, Arlington and College Station to prohibit the use of red light cameras. Nationwide, voters have also overwhelmingly opposed the use of cameras at the ballot box (view list of votes).