New site will give warnings for the first 30 days
The city of Houston’s red light camera program may be a thing of the past, but Sugar Land red light cameras are in full force.
Sugar Land is adding another set of red light cameras to catch drivers running red lights. The automated service will be installed and then fully operational in April at the westbound approach of U.S. Highway 90A at Dairy Ashford and the northbound approach of Dairy Ashford at U.S. Highway 90A.
For the first 30 days, warning citations from violations at the new site will be issued instead of tickets as motorists become accustomed to the new cameras, according to the city. After that, violators photographed running a red light will be fined $75.
The new cameras join those already installed in Sugar Land at:
- U.S. Highway 59 at State Highway 6.
- State Highway 6 at Lexington Boulevard.
- West Airport Boulevard at Eldridge Parkway.
Known as Safe Light Sugar Land, the program is intended to improve the safety of high-volume intersections.
"The purpose of traffic enforcement is to change driving behaviors and encourage motorists to comply with traffic laws," said Assistant City Manager Steve Griffith. "If everyone complied with these laws at all times, there would be no accidents. Our goal in traffic enforcement is to save lives, reduce injuries and minimize property loss."
Since the installation of Sugar Land's red light cameras at current locations, accidents have decreased more than 58 percent at targeted intersections, according to the city. The analysis charts accident data back to 2009, the year that the last of the current cameras were installed.
"Red light cameras allow police officers to focus on other important efforts, such as special teams that focus on burglaries and other areas of emphasis,” said Griffith.
According to the press release, approximately 70 percent of red-light runners do not live in Sugar Land. Also, red light violations are most common in the afternoon, especially on Saturdays, according to the the city.
Cameras were removed at U.S. Highway 59 at Sugar Lakes Boulevard and two locations at U.S. Highway 59 and State Highway 6 in 2011 and 2012, after compliance levels improved by almost 60 percent.
In 2011, the city of Houston pulled the plug on its red light camera program after the city council voted 14-1 to repeal the ordinance that granted American Traffic Solutions the right to issue automated tickets at 50 intersections throughout the city.
American Traffic Solutions is the company that operates Sugar Land’s photographic traffic signal enforcement system.