Bastrop Red Light Cameras

red light cameras

I have never been a huge fan of Bastrop. This town has been a major bottleneck most of my life along Highway 71 driving back and forth between my parents’ house and Austin. This minor aggravation recently became more severe when I received a red light ticket. This ticket wasn’t from a police officer. It arrived in the mail from a facility in Arizona.

I had long been warned not to speed in Bastrop because their cops have a reputation for being aggressive to say the least. I’ve tried to abide by these warnings and have never been pulled over in this town, so when I opened a ticket the other day for running a red light on Highway 71, I was quite upset.

Bastrop Red Light Cameras

Obviously, red light cameras are a profit center. Police and city officials tend to argue they are installed for the greater good. Their hypothesis is that enforcement, be it in person or not, increases compliance and in turn safety. This hypothesis is debatable at best.

An Austin American Statesmen shows that accidents at the two intersections with red light cameras in Bastrop actually doubled from 2011 to 2012. These stats aren’t exactly a sign of success if your objective is to increase safety.

Houston has eliminated all their red light cameras after studies showed they lead to a dramatic increase in accidents. Even more importantly, voters said that they didn’t want them.

red light cameras increase collisions

Intersections with Red Light Cameras

Bastrop currently has two red light cameras.

Texas 71 and Tahitian Drive / Intersection of Texas 95 and Texas 71

Here is an Austin American Statemen article about the installation. American Traffic Solutions is the company that installed the red light cameras for Bastrop and Elgin. Not surprisingly, if you do a search for this company, you will quickly find a string of negative reviews with commonly repeated themes of unethical and license to steal.

american traffic solutions

Honestly, the fact that a privately held company installs the cameras and gains a share of the revenue is one of the most upsetting aspects. It again reiterates that these cameras are about money and not safety. It is even more upsetting to learn that if a city backs out of its agreement, they likely owe the red light camera company a small fortune.  In the case of Houston, the city had to pay American Traffic Solutions 4.8 million dollars after they decided to no longer use the cameras. This strikes me as another absurdity.

The Bastrop camera that ticketed me is at a stop light along a 55 mph stretch of highway. One of the most unjust aspects is the relatively short yellow duration at this light. There is no uniformity at least in the state of Texas how long a light will remain yellow. As a matter of fact, many municipalities have been caught shortening the yellow cycle after installing red light cameras.

Is this what happened in Bastrop? I don’t know, but I would not be surprised in the least. At the end of the day these cameras are only about money plain and simple.

More About American Traffic Solutions

American Traffic Solutions is the company responsible for 40% of the red light camera contracts in America, including the Bastrop contract. Until recently, this company was part of a large corporate lobbying pact known as the American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC for short. This corporate lobbying group has come under intense scrutiny of late for handing legislators talking points and written bills intended to line the pockets of corporations at the public’s expense.

How You Can Protest

The best way to protest red light cameras in Bastrop is to voice your opposition to the city council. Council members are responsible for approving these Orwellian devices. They are the people who can see them done away with.

bastrop city council contact information

Bastrop City Council Email Addresses

  • Terry Ore – terry.orr@bastropfuture.com
  • Joe Beal – josephbeal@austin.rr.com
  • Ken Kesselus – kesselus@juno.com
  • Kay McAnally – kay.mcanally@gmail.com
  • Dock Jackson – dockjackson@utexas.edu

 

Favorite Comment From Free Republic

bastrop texas speedtrap

P.S. If you are looking for another great site about red light cameras, I recommend reading Motorist.org.

6 Comments on Bastrop Red Light Cameras

  1. Angry Driver // April 12, 2014 at 7:45 am // Reply

    Fuck Bastrop and any other shitty town trying to use red light cameras. It’s a money grab. Speed cameras follow and those end up getting everyone.

  2. It is a money grab pure and simple. They are looking to target out of town people at these intersections.

  3. Tom the driver // October 6, 2014 at 11:59 pm // Reply

    Just got a ticket for this stop light trap. I’ve never experienced a shorter yellow light. I would have had to slam on the brakes to avoid this. Not fair Bastrop! Just so you know, I will never stop in Bsatrop again when I pass through. I guess that is how you will build a successful town!

  4. To the Facilitators of this Scam:
    My family have grown to love Bastrop. Stop and stay in Bastrop dine in old town, including Lost Pines Resort every chance we can. But no longer I am very sad to say. In fact I plan to join other to boycott Bastrop as indicated the posts below. I will do everything in my power to inform others that there are alternatives to Bastrop to avoid the hassle and have a piece of mind knowing that they will not get scammed – because they will eventually, if they keep travelling through Bastrop. For me, it is just as easy to take 290 into Austin and back. Nothing to be gained by taking 21 or 71 anymore.
    Bye-bye for good Lastop Bastrop and good ridden.
    DPS – I have received two yellow/red light camera scam tickets in the last year – and DPS point advisory notice – just for travelling through this whore of a town. You should revise your policy for allowing points to be taken for scam activities such as this one.
    I cannot believe this is happening in Texas – God is punishing Lastrop!

  5. LDTijerina // July 27, 2015 at 2:57 am // Reply

    Yep, it sucks! Went to the mailbox today and i got a ticket too! This past 4th of july, on my way to Houston-I didnt have too but did, sat at that light on the left turn lane (jackson from hwy 71) heading to bucee’s for gas. Not again, going forward, instead of taking hwy 71 to Houston, I’ll take 290. I can now see and understand why Bastrop hwy is lined with black dead trees – KARMA!!

  6. So, I live two states away, but was driving through Bastrop a while back. Got one of these $75 tickets in the mail. Given that my vehicle isn’t registered in Texas, what happens if I just ignore it?

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