It Sure Looks Like Arlington Residents Will Ban Red Light Cameras

If there were ever any doubt that the people of Arlington are endowed with an uncommon love of freedom and liberty, it will be put to rest at 4 p.m. this afternoon. That's when activists will deliver a petition to City Hall, signed by 11,402 Arlingtonians, calling for the abolition of red-light cameras.

So what, you ask? A bunch of people signed a piece of paper saying they don't like something. How hard can that be?

Not very. "Almost everybody [signed the petition], and it was a joy," says Faith Bussey, who helped organize the petition drive. "They'd see our table and they'd make a beeline for it. It didn't matter which side of the aisle they were from."

See also: Arlington's City Council Won't Abolish Red Light Cameras, But Its Citizens Might

But degree of difficulty isn't the point. The point is that Texas law requires a municipality to put a proposed charter amendment on the ballot if it's supported by a petition signed by at least 5 percent of the city's qualified voters. In Arlington, the threshold is 9,291, meaning the activists met their goal with room to spare.

There are a few more legal hurdles to clear before Arlington is forced to dismantle its red light cameras. The petition signatures have to be certified; the City Council has to vote to put a red light camera-ban on the ballot; voters then have to approve the ban. The latter step is the only one that isn't pure formality, and it's hard to imagine a world in which voters in Arlington's municipal elections this May will vote in to keep red-light cameras, whose popularity there is guesstimated to be on par with members of Congress and Justin Bieber.

We predict a landslide.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.