Prop 3 Supporters Say They Respect Voters' Voice On Red Light Cameras

It's now up to the Houston City Council to figure out exactly when and how to dismantle the city's red light camera system. In an unexpected result, voters rejected proposition three, which would have kept 70 cameras snapping pictures of red light runners at 50 intersections. David Pitman has more.

Pre-election polls showed Proposition 3 was likely to pass.  Instead, voters decided to ditch red light cameras by a 53 to 47 percent margin.  Chris Begala is a spokesman for Keep Houston Safe, the group that fought to keep the cameras in place — with backing from the company that operates the program.  He was involved with the most recent polls, and says the question may have been too tricky to get accurate results.

"Because when you go out and ask a respondent 'do you run red lights?' Well, the answer, of course, is 'no I don't.'  But they don't want to be caught, either.  So this is a very tough, very interesting issue to poll on."

 Begala says Proposition 3's defeat is also likely a reflection of the hostility some voters have toward government in general.

"There is a resounding 'no' coming towards anything related to government.  And red light safety cameras are a public-private partnership with the government, so that was a big challenge, there."

Begala says Keep Houston Safe respects the will of the voters with the defeat of Prop 3, and the group is not planning any challenges to the outcome at this time.
 

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David Pitman

Local Host, Morning Edition

The one question David hears most often isn't "What is it like to work for an NPR member station?" or "Have you ever met Terry Gross?" (he has)...