The number of motorists nabbed by Houston’s red-light cameras spiked dramatically last month after the police department added 20 locations and began citing illegal turns, says the Houston Chronicle. The department noted 27,000 violations last month, more than twice the total in September. The 130 percent increase was not a surprise because the state began requiring citations for illegal turns – and because the new cameras went up at the city’s busiest intersections.
The program, which has caused controversy among privacy advocates and others who question the cameras’ efficacy, began in September 2006 with 10 locations. The department increased the number of cameras to 50 in May. The move to add cameras coincided with a new state law requiring the city to set aside half its profits from the program to a fund for regional trauma centers in Texas.