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VERIFY: If you get a red light camera ticket in Texas, you do not have to pay it

The Texas legislature banned the use of photographic traffic enforcement systems in 2019.

HOUSTON — The VERIFY team has gotten a lot questions lately about red light cameras. They are no longer allowed in Texas, but people are still getting tickets in the mail. They asked the VERIFY team to find out if they are required to pay them.

It's been happening in Humble.

“My husband received a traffic ticket taken by a camera at an intersection in Humble. Isn't it true that these were declared illegal in Texas?” Betty asked.

“I thought the state outlawed red light cameras. Do we need to pay this?” Mary wrote.

RELATED: VERIFY: Could unpaid Humble red light camera tickets affect future car registrations?

Jane, who recently sold her car asked, “Do I need to pay this? I don’t want the buyer to have a problem in the future.”

We have two sources for this: Humble Police Department Traffic Enforcement Sgt. Jack Burt; and the Texas Transportation Code.  

The Texas Legislature passed a law in 2019 banning the use of photographic traffic enforcement systems.

According to Texas Transportation Code 707.021, “A local authority may not issue 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.”

However, the law allows municipalities under contract with third party operators, to continue running them until they expire. That includes Humble, which has 10 cameras at six intersections.

Sgt. Burt says if the city turns them off, they could be penalized. But that does not mean you will.

“There are no ramifications. If you do not pay the ticket, we can no longer hold your registration. We still have a collection agency that we deal with the City of Humble. So, if you do not pay the violation in 90 days, you automatically get a collection letter from that agency,” Sgt. Burt said.

He said paying the ticket is voluntary.  

So, we can Verify, if you do get a ticket for a traffic camera violation in Humble, you do not have to pay it.

Humble is one of four cities in Texas that still has operating traffic cameras. The others are Amarillo, Leon Valley and Balcones Heights.

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