STAFF EDITORIAL: Red translates to green for Houston hospitals
Red-light cameras tend to be seen as an irritant to Houstonians, but the camera system could be doing some good for local hospitals.
The revenue received from red-light tickets is split between the municipality that operates them and the state of Texas, which distributes it to trauma centers. Houston hospitals received $4.6 million of the latest distribution of funds. Ben Taub received $2.4 million and Memorial Hermann received $1.1 million, Carolyn Feibel said in an Oct. 11 Houston Chronicle article.
According to state law, motorists are supposed to come to a full stop at the white line ‘- the pedestrian crossing. The cameras are catching drivers who don’t stop at that line and in some cases, even if they come to a complete stop after crossing the line before entering the intersection, the driver will still receive a ticket in the mail.
So if drivers don’t try to race against the light, they won’t have anything to worry about, right? Houston hospitals are receiving most of the money, which makes the sting hurt a little less, but this is still money out of taxpayers’ pockets.
Perhaps the ends justify the means. The percentage of the portion of money given to a specific trauma hospital is decided by the amount of uncompensated care it provides for uninsured and low-income patients, Feibel said.
Taxpayers and zippy drivers may hate the cameras, but the city continues to make money; enough, in fact, that the city of Dickinson is now considering setting up its own red-light camera system. The red-light cameras will continue to be a pain in citizens’ necks, but know that a simple search online will give you a list of all the red-light cameras in Houston so you will know where to avoid or, if nothing else, slow down a bit. Big Brother is watching us pretty closely these days, so we can all take steps to keep ourselves and our loved ones informed about hard-earned money that doesn’t need to be thrown away.