The Texas Legislature passed a bill to make red light cameras illegal in the Lone Star State. The Governor signed the bill on Saturday and placed it into law. Existing cameras can stay in place until the local jurisdictions contract with the supporting companies expire.
The grass-roots-backed bill authored by State Representative Jonathan Stickland (R-Bedford) passed the Texas Legislature on May 20. Texas Governor Greg Abbott wasted no time in bringing the bill to his desk for signature and enactment into law.
“This has kind of hit a crescendo from the grassroots, left and right,” the representative told CBS 11 in Dallas during a March interview. “It’s not really Republican or Democrat. It’s about public safety and protecting people’s rights.”
The bill passed the Texas Senate by a bipartisan vote of 23-8. All of the nay votes came from Democrat Senators. The Texas House passed the bill on a 109-34 vote. Three members voted present (no vote).
The new law states that “notwithstanding any other law, a local authority may not implement or operate a photographic traffic signal enforcement system with respect to a highway or street under the jurisdiction of authority.” The law also prohibits the use of evidence gathered from such a device. The law allows the existing cameras to be operated until the contracts for operation expire.
As the bill passed the Texas Legislature, Rep. Stickland tweeted to Governor Abbott,
The bill to ban red light cameras just passed the Senate and is headed your way @GregAbbott_TX . Would love your quick signature on it so we can restore our Constitutional rights! #HB1631 #txlege #onward
— Jonathan Stickland (@RepStickland) May 17, 2019
Two weeks later, the governor signed the bill in a private signing posted via Twitter. During the signing, the governor said, “I just signed the law that bans red light cameras in Texas.”
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 1, 2019
The law takes effect on September 1, 2019.