Coppell residents are no longer obligated to pay red light camera fines.
On June 2, Gov. Greg Abbott officially signed House Bill 1631 into law, which prohibits the use of photographic traffic signal enforcement systems. The law was effective immediately, but cities were allowed to honor their contracts and keep the program in place until the contract expired.
Coppell contracted with Redflex in 2007 to place three red light cameras in the city at the intersections of Sandy Lake and Denton Tap roads, MacArthur Boulevard and Sandy Lake, and Belt Line Road and MacArthur.
In 2017 the contract was renewed until 2027, but a termination clause has allowed the city to end its contract with the company.
“One of the clauses we had in our contract was a termination clause due to adverse state legislation,” said Jason Tyler, administrative officer with the Coppell Police Department. "That was put in there to help protect the city should the law change outlawing the program.”
Tyler said Redflex will no longer be accepting payments for violations, meaning anyone who has an unpaid ticket will have no obligation to pay it. In addition no new citations will be given out. Those who have paid their tickets will not be issued refunds, Tyler said.
Tyler said a total of 78,978 citations have been given out since 2007 and 15,453 are unpaid.
The City Council discussed possibly collecting the unpaid fines but decided to dismiss them considering there would be no efficient way to collect them since Redflex will not accept payments.
“I came in here saying ‘we need to go after the old ones,’ but … I just don’t see it happening,” said Councilman Wes Mays.
Councilwoman Brianna Hinajosa Smith agreed.
“I thought the same too,” she said. “I don’t know that it makes sense.”
Police Chief Danny Barton said the department plans on sending a notice of termination to Redflex on Wednesday. Once the termination is completed the company will remove the red light camera equipment from the city.