Judge Dismisses Class-Action Lawsuit Against Arnold's Red Light Cameras

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Traffic cameras have survived yet another class-action lawsuit in Missouri. Last week a Jefferson County judge rejected a suit that aimed to prohibit the use of red light cameras in Arnold, which became the first Missouri city to deploy the cameras in August 2005.

In his ruling August 29, Judge Mark Stoll noted that the arguments of the defendants -- the City of Arnold and camera company American Traffic Solution -- were the "most persuasive."

The city and ATS noted in court filings that the Eastern District Court of Appeals had upheld a similar ruling in favor of Creve Coeurs' red light cameras. In that ruling, the court agreed with the city that Creve Coeur had the right to draft a red-light camera ordinance even if no such state law exists; that citations can be labeled non-moving violations; and that the legal proceedings did not violate due process.

With the Arnold ruling, attorneys with the Simon Law Firm of St. Louis have now lost four decisions that sought to prohibit use of the cameras in Kansas City, Arnold, Florissant and Creve Coeur.

Despite at least a half-dozen legal challenges statewide, only a couple rulings have gone in favor of those opposed to the cameras. In February a St. Louis Circuit Court judge ruled the city's ordinance void. (That decision is under appeal.) And in 2010 the Missouri Supreme Court ruled against the way Springfield enforced its citations. 

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4 comments
dregstudios
dregstudios topcommenter

Traffic cameras are just another form of Policing for Profit as Capitalism distorts our Justice System.  These companies are bottom-feeders and take a 40% cut of the tickets while creating MORE dangerous intersections by fixing the lengths of yellow lights to entrap drivers.   You can read about how private companies and crooked politicians have turned our Police forces on their ear in every attempt to squeeze money out of the general public at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-privatized-police-state.html

 

jcwconsult
jcwconsult

Many judges rule in favor of predatory ticket cameras and the cities that use them because many judges do not consider that traffic courts should operate under the same principles as our other courts.  Our cherished legal principle of "innocent until proven guilty" is virtually meaningless to many traffic court systems in the country.  Many traffic courts make a complete mockery of due process. There are exceptions, of course, and some judges treat traffic court cases with the same legal principles and protections as other cases - BUT these are usually the exceptions.

 

Traffic courts in the USA are far too often used as road tax collection systems, with little or no real emphasis on improving traffic safety.  Under posted speed limits are used to make money.  Yellow intervals on lights are set too short to make money.  Both of these tend to reduce traffic safety, but are very profitable for the unethical governments that employ these methods.  Some states increase the penalties and the filing fees for those that dare to challenge citations in court, rather than just paying up on the assigned road tax fees for the "crimes" of driving safely -- but in technical violation of improper traffic engineering parameters that are set that way to facilitate giving more tickets for money.

 

The entire system of traffic laws and their enforcement procedures needs to be overhauled in most of the USA.  Speed limits, traffic lights, and other traffic controls need to be set and enforced ONLY for safety, never for revenue collection. This would restore the destroyed respect that many people feel for traffic laws and the officers who enforce them.

 

It would also significantly improve traffic safety nationwide.

 

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

wiledon
wiledon

@jcwconsult time to vote Mark Stoll out.

wiledon
wiledon

@jcwconsult time to vote Mark Stoll out. Camras enforcing law is wrong..

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