HOUSTON -- An election year battle is shaping up in Houston over red-light cameras.

During the past year, cameras have caught nearly a quarter-million people running red lights in Houston.

A group called Keep Houston Safe says the cameras are working and plans to launch a high-dollar campaign to drive the point home. The group has the support of the city's biggest police union, which says the cameras are making Houston's streets safer.

The stats are showing that it's working. We're reducing fatalities. We're reducing side-impact collisions. We're reducing wrecks, said Gary Blankinship, with the Houston Police Officers Union. And we're actually reducing red-light runners.

Opponents aren't buying it, and this fall, they want Houston residents to make the decision.

The citizens can make the decision themselves whether or not they believe HPD or if they believe their own gut instincts about the cameras, said Paul Kubosh with Citizens Against Red Light Cameras.

Of course, there's also the issue of money. The City of Houston reaps part of the revenue from the cameras. This year the revenue is projected at $14.6 million.

The department would like to see more red-light cameras, said Mayor Annise Parker. I would like to see more red-light cameras. And I anticipate that you'll see some discussion of that in the near future.

Opponents of the cameras need some 20,000 signatures to get their referendum on the ballot this fall.

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