HB 1631

86(R) - 2019
House Transportation
Senate Transportation
House Transportation
Senate Transportation
Transportation & Infrastructure

Companion Bill

SB 653

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Positive


Jonathan Stickland
Dustin Burrows
Terry Canales
Nicole Collier
Ed Thompson


Steve Allison
Charles Anderson
Trent Ashby
Ernest Bailes
Cecil Bell Jr.
Keith Bell
Diego Bernal
Paul Bettencourt
Kyle Biedermann
Dwayne Bohac
Greg Bonnen
Brad Buckley
John H Bucy III
DeWayne Burns
Briscoe Cain
Giovanni Capriglione
Travis Clardy
Garnet F. Coleman
Philip Cortez
John Cyrier
Drew Darby
Yvonne Davis
Jay Dean
Joe Deshotel
Alex Dominguez
Dan Flynn
James Frank
John Frullo
Barbara Gervin-Hawkins
Craig Goldman
Jessica Gonzalez
Mary Gonzalez
Ryan Guillen
Roland Gutierrez
Sam Harless
Cody Harris
Cole Hefner
Abel Herrero
Justin Holland
Donna Howard
Todd Hunter
Kyle Kacal
Ken King
Tracy King
Stephanie Klick
Matt Krause
John Kuempel
Stan Lambert
Brooks Landgraf
Mike Lang
Lyle Larson
Jeff Leach
Oscar Longoria
J.M. Lozano
Will Metcalf
Theresa Meza
Mayes Middleton
Rick Miller
Ina Minjarez
Geanie Morrison
Sergio Munoz Jr.
Jim Murphy
Andrew Murr
Poncho Nevarez
Candy Noble
Tom Oliverson
Leo Pacheco
Chris Paddie
Tan Parker
Jarred Patterson
Dade Phelan
Four Price
Ana-Maria Ramos
John Raney
Richard Raymond
Ron Reynolds
Eddie Rodriguez
Toni Rose
Scott Sanford
Matt Schaefer
Matt Shaheen
J.D. Sheffield
Reggie Smith
John Smithee
Drew Springer
Phil Stephenson
Lynn Stucky
Valoree Swanson
James Talarico
Shawn Thierry
Ed Thompson
Tony Tinderholt
Steve Toth
Gary VanDeaver
James White
Terry Wilson
John Wray
Bill Zedler
John Zerwas


Bob Hall

Bill Caption

Relating to prohibiting the use of photographic traffic signal enforcement systems.

Fiscal Notes

The fiscal implications of the bill would result in indeterminate but significant revenue loss to the State as well as local jurisdictions.

Bill Analysis

HB 1631 would prohibit red light cameras or any other photographic traffic signal enforcement systems from being implemented or operated by a local authority.  The bill would also prohibit a local authority from issuing a civil or criminal charge or citation for an offense or violation based on a recorded image produced by a photographic traffic signal enforcement system.

A local government would be allowed to continue to operate its system until the expiration of the contract as that contract existed May 7, 2019. 

The bill would prohibit TxDOT and county assessor-collectors from refusing to register a vehicle solely on the basis of an outstanding payment on a civil penalty imposed for a red light camera violation.

Vote Recommendation Notes

Texas Action enthusiastically supports HB 1631 for promoting the principles of individual liberty and limited government. Evidence that red-light traffic cameras make the roads safer is dubious at best. In fact, it many cases it makes intersections more dangerous, as it causes drivers to decide to make an abrupt stop when a traffic light turns to yellow to avoid getting photographed by one of these cameras, ultimately causing rear-end collisions.

Even more troubling is the fact that some studies indicate that some municipalities use red light cameras for revenue generation under the guise of public safety. Some municipalities have been caught shortening period of the yellow light at intersections with red light cameras relative to the period of time allocated for yellow lights at other intersections not enforced by camera. The clear conclusion of such behavior is that in those cases the purpose of the cameras was never to enhance public safety but to generate more revenue by causing people to run more red lights. This tactic is reprehensible and obviously makes those intersections less safe than they would otherwise be with the yellow light set to the same interval as normal intersections.

We do not accuse any Texas municipalities of engaging in this behavior, but note that it is a problem elsewhere and there is no reason to believe Texas municipalities may not fall prey to the same temptation. The purpose of government is not to generate revenue by tricking motorists into running more red lights. The temptation to do so should not even be on the table.

We support this legislation for its commitment to limiting government's overregulation and enforcement of intersections for a purpose weighted more on revenue generation, not commuter safety.