Red-Light Camera Trial Postponed for State Senator Jim Lembke

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Prosecutors have now postponed Lembke's trial on two occasions.
State senator Jim Lembke was due in court this morning in downtown St. Louis for a jury trial to consider his guilty appeal on a red-light camera citation issued to him in January.

The Republican from south St. Louis County tells Daily RFT this morning that city prosecutors have now postponed the trial for a second time.

"I got a call on Thursday that it was being continued," says Lembke. "They don't want to do anything while the case regarding the legality of the city's red-light camera ordinance remains in limbo." Lembke's trial was originally slated for trial June 6 but remains on hold following a preliminary ruling in another lawsuit challenging the city's red-light camera ordinance.

Circuit Court Judge Mark Neil's preliminary ruling in late May found that St. Louis did not have the legal authority to allow red-light cameras without enabling statutes from the state legislature. That class-action lawsuit against the city continues to wend its way through the court with the preliminary ruling not binding at this point.

Lembke, who's tried for years to ban red-light cameras throughout Missouri, maintains that he wasn't driving a Honda Accord registered in his name when the vehicle failed to come to a complete stop before turning right on red at the intersection of Gravois and Hampton on January 9.

During his initial trial in February in the city's municipal court, Judge Martin Teer Jr. found Lembke guilty when he refused to say who was driving the vehicle if it wasn't him. "It could have been my wife, my son, my daughter, the mechanic. It's not my responsibility to do the work of the state" in determining the guilty party," Lembke later told Daily RFT.

Lembke is at least the third person to appeal their red-light ticket from municipal court to the circuit court. In 2009 St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Robert Dierker appealed and won his red-light camera citation. That same year, Washington University employee Gant Bloom defended himself on his appeal and also won.

Like Lembke's argument, both those cases maintained that the city could not prove that the defendants were driving the vehicles at the time of the infraction. Unlike the other two cases, however, Lembke asks for a jury trial. For those of you interested, here are 16 pages of reasons why Lembke feels he cannot be found guilty of running a red light.

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In almost every case, longer yellow intervals will reduce red light violations by MORE than red light cameras. And, obviously, a driver who stops for the red light has zero risk to cause a dangerous angle or t-bone crash in the intersection.  Cities that use ticket cameras instead of safer, longer yellow intervals simply want the money - even at the expense of reduced safety for everyone.  It is not moral.  The science and research are on our website.  Perhaps you will join us to help rid the country of these predatory ticket cameras and the predatory industry that provides them to their business-partner cities who care more about revenue than safety.  James C. Walker, National Motorists Association,, Ann Arbor, MI

Eric Vineyard
Eric Vineyard

I don't agree with state senator much, but here's an issue where we find common ground.



Good for the Senator!

Fight the SCAM!

Ban the CAMS!


Quote:  Photo enforcement vendor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) could find itself in trouble for lying before the Washington Supreme Court about its involvement in attempts to overturn a ballot initiative in Mukilteo last year. The Everett Herald newspaper obtained emails from former ATS Vice President Bill Kroske that show he attempted to collude with the city's mayor to deny the public an opportunity to vote on banning red light cameras and speed


No worries Senator. Lawsuit or not, this case will never reach the jury. Count it!

brian behrmann
brian behrmann

Thanks for not sinking to using the awful portmanteau "scameras". 

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