St. Louis City Continues to Install Red Light Cameras, Despite Judge's Ruling

red light camera skinker.jpg
A sign alerts drivers of new cameras at Skinker and Forest Park Parkway.
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Six months after a judge officially declared the city's red-light camera ordinance void, St. Louis officials and the city's third-party camera vendor, American Traffic Solutions, are busy installing even more of the devices throughout the city.

Mayor Francis Slay's office confirms to Daily RFT that plans are in the works to install eleven new cameras at a half dozen additional intersections in the city. Some of those cameras, including two at the intersection of Skinker Boulevard and Forest Park Parkway, went up earlier this summer. Once all the new cameras are up, the city will have some 62 cameras monitoring 31 intersections.


The mayor's office defends its ability to add more cameras even though St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Mark Neill ruled in February that the city's ordinance is "void" without enabling legislation from state lawmakers, who have so far failed to address the issue in Jefferson City. Neill also found that the the language on the citation violated due process by not making it clear that a red-light runner could contest the ticket.

The city has since changed the wording on the citation and is appealing Neill's ruling that declared the ordinance void.

In an email response to Daily RFT the mayor's office stated:


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24 comments
hooyerd
hooyerd

The red light camera at Bircher and Union coming off of 70 East is an unethical revenue generating scam. They are fining people right and left coming up and making a right turn on red. The stop line is SO FAR BACK from the intersection you can't possibly see ANY vehicles coming from the left at the line, nor are you putting anyone in danger by crossing the line up to the point that you can ACTUALLY SEE what traffic is approaching from the left, and then deciding when it is safe to proceed with the right turn on red. I'm sure most people are aware how to use the right on red rule, but the positioning of the lines in that intersection make it a ripe scenario for people to naturally ease up a little further to the point where they can actually SEE the traffic from the left, and still not be close to the flow of traffic. I would much rather have people doing this than being conditioned by this camera madness to stop at the line, think they are clear (Remember, at the line they can't see a darn thing), and then hit the gas and just go. It's nuts and I bet the city picks off driver after driver making right turns onto Union. When you see stuff going on like this then you know it's all about the money, and the cities talk of 'safety' is nothing more than a smokescreen.

jcwconsult
jcwconsult

ATS and the St. Louis official don't give a tinker's you-know-what if the scameras are legal or not, they just want to rake in the money until ATS is run out of town on rail tarred-and-feathered by the citizens.

In virtually every case, simply adding one second to the yellow intervals on the lights will reduce violations by MORE than ticket scameras. Unfortunately, maximizing safety is not profitable, so the scameras will stay until the supporters are voted out of office permanently.

 

Get to work on that, St. Louis citizens, if you want to stop getting ripped off by the scameras.

 

James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, Ann Arbor, MI

Veggie Smith
Veggie Smith

Yep. Red light cameras= socialism. It all makes sense now...

YoungReezy
YoungReezy

WrongOnRed, I applaud your efforts.  You're doing God's work.

 

Let me remind people that ATS is really just funneling their profits to Goldman Sachs, one of the most evil and destructive Wall Street firms.

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2008/09/29/story4.html?page=all

 

In fact, Goldman Sachs is so despicable, they actually helped the Greeks HIDE their debt problems a couple years back, only so they could get bigger and bigger and almost bring down all of Europe.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17108367

 

So now those leeches and vampires at Goldman are bankrolling these scamera companies like ATS and getting rich off of regular middle-class people.  This is nothing but a wealth transfer from the hard-working middle class to the elites on Wall Street.  

 

And since Goldman is backing ATS, they have almost infinite resources to pay off corrupt judges and state politicians.  There is a LOT of money and corruption behind these cameras and the battle will not be easy.

henryheigh
henryheigh

Cameras don't stop the bad crashes. A 2004 study sponsored by the TX DOT reported: "With one exception, all of the right-angle crashes [they reviewed 40 crashes that had been photographed by red light cameras] occurred after 5 seconds or more of red." (Link at thenewspaper daht com/news/02/243.asp ) A real late runner (5+ secs. late) doesn't do it on purpose. He doesn't know (the majority of red light camera violations are by lost or distracted visitors - the mayor of Hallandale FL just revealed that 80% of the tickets there go to visitors) or doesn't remember (a distracted or impaired "local") that a camera is up ahead, so the presence of a camera won't stop him. To cut these real late runs and the crashes they cause, identify your most dangerous intersections and improve the visual cues that say, "signal ahead." Florida's DOT found that painting "signal ahead" on the road cut running by up to 74%. Also make these other inexpensive mods: Make the signal lights bigger in dia., add backboards to them, make the street lights brighter, and put up a lighted name sign for the cross street. And if you can afford it, add a signal pole on the NEAR side of the corner. Cameras have many side effects: They (indirectly) block emergency vehicles - cars stopped at a camera hesitate to get out of the way! Rearenders, local $$$ sent to Oz, AZ or Goldman-Sachs, where it won't come back, and tourists and shoppers driven away. Want safety, no side effects? Install the visual cues. To cut car/pedestrian accidents, train your kids (and yourself) not to step out just 'cuz the walk sign came on. Who needs cameras? Who needs their side effects? Who needs the gullible and/or greedy politicians who OK them?

Leslee Brown
Leslee Brown

just another step in the direction of socialism

wfreeman1
wfreeman1

Payment of this $cam is voluntary in Texas as well leaving the jurisdictions that contracted with the $camera companies wondering why nobody pays.  The result is that the jurisdictions that are contractually obligated to the $camera companies have to pay out of their budgets and end up laying off employees and cutting services to meet the cost.  The jurisdictions make a lot of hollow threats about what MIGHT happen if people continue to refuse to pay, but everyone knows the threats are unenforceable.  The $camera contract is rarely renewed when this happens.

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

I think we should audit the personal finances of politicians who approve these things. I'll bet you find some mysterious deposits.

Mary Jo Rehg
Mary Jo Rehg

Hey, if red light cameras do ANYTHING to deter you people that think red lights do not apply to you - then more power to the city and the Mayor for installing them.

Matt Hay
Matt Hay

The Slay Family and the Aboussie Family go way back, specifically, to St. Raymonds.......

Matt Hay
Matt Hay

They usually use "Union Labor".........who then makes large donations by way of their PACs to Slay and other "Union Backed" candidates. Plus, as the RFT reported in 2006, Joyce Aboussie makes almost a 10% commission as a consultancy fee on all American Traffic Solutions revenues...where do you think this honeypot then goes?

John Bauer
John Bauer

this way, the city can pay someone's company a million dollars for starting and then not completing it. It is most likely a legal way of paying someone under the table. Does the company installing the cameras have any ties to the Mayor, his family or anyone in office?

Stephanie Danielson
Stephanie Danielson

i guess some people still don't know & keep paying them so they're like shit, let's keep installing 'em lol

password
password

Is anyone else embarrassed that our stoplights have red light cameras but none of them are synched?  I know its about economics, but what a joke.  Driving around STL City is so frustrating.  I'm reminded 20 times per day as I sit at red light after red light, how inept our officials are.

Tony63031
Tony63031

They can NOT issue warrants for failure to pay! It's not enforceable accept through collections and that is it!

WrongOnRed
WrongOnRed

This is the height of arrogance. I hope a motion for immediate injunction is filed on the entire system. The Judge dismissed the original motion as moot for the fact that the ordinance was void. Seems Judge Neill was naive in thinking that the City of St. Louis would respect his ruling, and the rule of law. The issue was not solely based upon the citation. That was the Due process violation for which could be remedied by them, however, the lack of authorizing legislation from the state, which was also what the voiding was predicated upon could not be remedied by anything other than the State Legislature, which has refused to authorize these scameras.

 

I guess Slay and Aboussie have to line their pockets as quick as they can, much like bank robbers in the vault who have heard the sirens in the distance. 

 

Learn about the scam http://www.WrongOnRed.com

WrongOnRed
WrongOnRed

 @YoungReezy Thank you. Also worth mentioning perhaps, is that on the same day GS Private Equity made the ATS purchase, Warren Buffett invested $58 Million in ATS. The same Warren Buffett who owns Insurance Giant Geico. The same Geico that profits in states that issue "points" for these scamera violations. The same Geico that rakes in cash with increase premiums as a result of the massive increase in rear end accidents that these systems cause.

 

"In September of 2008, the same month he invested $5 billion in Goldman-Sachs, Warren Buffet invested $58 million in ATS for one-third share, which means Buffet receives a share of Murrieta’s $483 per ticket from the cameras."

 

http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/californias-war-over-red-light-cameras

 

This is all one giant scam. Why the Occupy Movement does not rail on these things as the quintessential example of crony capitalism/corporatism, I do not know. It is the storm for public angst and outrage. Just the sheer disgusting nature of it all kills me. People are basically being used as dairy cattle, and milked for cash, to support Buffett, Goldman Sachs, and politicians. The used to call launder contributions into Political campaigns "kickbacks" but now they just call them "contributions." Nothing to see here folks....... I just wish there was some way to get folks to realize that in Missouri, Joyce Aboussie is making vast amounts of cash as a "consultant" (read political palm greaser/whip) for American Traffic Solutions. The Riverfront Times wrote a great piece on it then. She makes just under 10% of the ATS Missouri revenues.......it is then always fun to see her telemarketing company, Telephone Contacts Inc., make contributions to Missouri Politicians and PACs. Almost as if, they scammed the money from the public,  funneled it into their own pockets, and then used it to empower them to do more scamming.........You would think that maybe one day, when more folks catch on, these folks would be run out on a rail.

WrongOnRed
WrongOnRed

 @Tony63031 It is not even enforceable through collections. They will have GC Services send you a few nasty grams, but there is nothing beyond that they can do. They cannot place it on your credit, hold your registration, license, issue a warrant, etc. No ability to enforce whatsoever. Just as Judge Neill said, if you pay these, it is "voluntary."

LiveStrong
LiveStrong

 @WrongOnRed I have received a few red light tickets from the City of St. Louis. I have opted not to pay them as they were deemed unconstitutional, like previously stated. But today, my wife calls me and tells me that we received a notice in the mail from an attorneys office about failure to pay the ticket. I am not sure what to do with it now and I have also emailed my attorney.

 

My question is though... Since they changed the verbage in the ticket, it apperently no longer violates due process as it gives means to fight the ticket and what not. So, I am wondering what I should do... I don't want to pay them as I feel it is wrong and I was not in the wrong.

Leonardo_Flathammer
Leonardo_Flathammer

 @Leonardo_Flathammer 

I went to my hearing today.  The City of St. Louis has changed their tune, and you won't be able to fight this at trial any more.  The City's stance is that  "it doesn't matter a hill of beans *who* was driving the car, as the fine is levied against the *owner* of the car."  In my case, there is no evidence of who is driving the car, and the City can't even decide who the ticket should be for (since the vehicle in question is registered jointly, the "ticket" is made out to both parties).

 

I'm still not going to pay mine.

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