Houston's Red Light Camera Saga.
In 2006, Houston, like many other cities across the country, installed red light cameras in 50 intersections, with the stated purpose of cutting down on the number of people running red lights. If you hit the intersection one nanosecond too late, you had your picture taken and a ticket was mailed to you.
Rear end collisions instantly skyrocketed at those intersections. A study came out showing there were twice as many rear end collisions at those intersections as before. The City of Houston sought to suppress this information.
Citizens rightly complained that those intersections posed more of a danger once the cameras were installed than before, even though the purpose presented was to make intersections safer. The City, however, was deaf to our pleas.
Organizations of outraged citizens began to form, and one, Citizens Against Red Light Cameras, gathered some steam. Last November, Houston citizens voiced their displeasure at the ballot box, and voted the hated cameras illegal. Within days, the cameras were turned off. The City of Houston cried over the loss of revenue. The City had been raking in $10 million per year in easy money. Statements were made that we would have to “lay off police and firefighters, making our city less safe” proving what we citizens knew all along; that these cameras were revenue raisers, not safety devices.
We all breathed a sigh of relief and went on with our business. But last Friday, Federal Judge Lynn Hughs ruled that the vote was unconstitutional, and the cameras had to be turned back on. "The case is not certified for an interlocutory appeal," said Judge Hughes, meaning that we can't appeal the ruling.
Why a Federal Judge got mixed up in what is clearly City business, and how a 53% majority vote can be declared unconstitutional, and how said judge can rule that this ruling is final and cannot be appealed is beyond my ability to understand.
But this is how we are losing our freedom.