Red-Light-Camera Ban in St. Charles County May Be Up to Voters

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Red-light-camera ban: How would you vote?
If a vote in the St. Charles County Council chambers goes the way it's expected to tonight, residents will get to decide for themselves whether to ban red-light cameras in the county.

While only one St. Charles County city, St. Peters, uses the controversial cameras, Councilman Joe Brazil is proposing to change the county charter and ban red-light cameras, if voters approve.

"It is a proven fact that these cameras cause traffic accidents and injuries from rear-end collisions," Brazil says. "I don't think these cameras are beneficial to the residents of St. Charles County."

See also: Can This Simple Letter Get You Out of Paying a Red-Light or Speeding Camera Ticket?

Brazil likely has enough votes on the county commission to pass his amendment, which means St. Charles County voters could decide to outlaw cameras on the August 5 ballot.

Rules surrounding red-light cameras in Missouri have become confusing and contradictory in the last couple of years. A judge recently outlawed the cameras in St. Louis city, then changed his mind and allowed the program as long as fines were kept in an escrow account. Late last year, the Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that Arnold's red-light-camera ordinance is unconstitutional.

In St. Charles County, a judge dismissed a St. Peters woman's red-light-camera ticket because convictions based on red-light cameras don't result in penalty points added to a driver's license, which is a violation of state law. The judge stopped short of voiding the city's red-light-camera ordinance entirely.

See also: Red Light Cameras Capture St. Louis' Worst Car Crashes of 2013 [VIDEO]

The final ruling on red-light cameras in Missouri will likely come from the state's Supreme Court, but not anytime soon. The court denied hearing cases from Creve Coeur, Kansas City and Florissant -- where appellate courts ruled the cameras were invalid -- in February.

Here's what Brazil's proposed bill says about red-light cameras:

Under recent decisions by Missouri's appellate courts, ordinances authorizing red light cameras are unlawful because they conflict with state law or because they do or may unconstitutionally presume that vehicle owners are operating their vehicles at the time of a violation...In recent cases now on appeal, circuit courts in the City of St. Louis and in St. Charles County have also ruled that red light cameras are unconstitutional.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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102 comments
Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen

While it would be nice to have the money stay within the community, I think the important thing to see is the financial impact on people that break the law. The topic of who exactly gets the violation money shouldn't take away from allowing people to behave in a reckless manner. If someone really objects to traffic cameras, they don't need to use those intersections.

Thee Lovingcup
Thee Lovingcup

Even if a bunch of money goes out of state to American Traffic Solutions and collection lawyers?

Marlin Rogers
Marlin Rogers

Traffic solution installs these for free. They want a cut of the fines which is MORE than what the municipality gets. Privatized profiting. These are only a money grab for both parties. Make no mistake about it

Sharon Gladney
Sharon Gladney

DONT DO IT! from a chicago citizen ripped off from the cameras

Michael Cohen
Michael Cohen

I don't have anything against the cameras. There are many rather bad drivers on the road. Plus, many other drivers that continually speed, tail other drivers, and try really hard to ignore traffic signals/signs. For those drivers, I think the cameras are a fair thing to have in place.

Lucas Adams
Lucas Adams

Red light cameras generate revenue. That is all they do.

Matt Thomas
Matt Thomas

This is why: I've driven, for work, thousands of miles in St. Peters. The cameras are bullshit and they cause more accidents than they prevent. I guarantee the rate of accidents at those intersections has increased, due to people slamming the brakes and general fearful driving. Not to mention, the questionable contracting and general cronyism involved in their installation and maintenance. Shit on those things. It's a cash grab that benefits the public nothing in overall safety.

Matt Thomas
Matt Thomas

I've driven, for work, thousands of miles in St. Peters. The cameras are bullshit and they cause more accidents than they prevent. I guarantee the rate of accidents at those intersections has increased, due to people slamming the brakes and general fearful driving. Not to mention, the questionable contracting and general cronyism involved in their installation and maintenance. Shit on those things. It's a cash grab that benefits the public nothing in overall safety.

Eric Farlow
Eric Farlow

He just takes selfies at them and avoids the dentist like the plague.

Eric Farlow
Eric Farlow

Here's 19 different independent studies spanning many different states: http://www.motorists.org/red-light-cameras/studies (I already posted this and more in a previous post btw). And they have been ruled unconstitutional in Missouri courts as the fines are being mailed to the owners of the cars with no legitimate means of verifying the drivers... You'll 'challenge that'? Does that have nothing to do with the fact that you're a retired police officer, that you are trying to fight to keep these revenue machines in operation? Sigh. !!!!!!!!

Tony Merklin
Tony Merklin

I'll Challenge that.......Show me the Data and its Conclusions...........I want to see All Credible Evidence regarding your Statement !!!!.........and not from Sammy the Sausage Head either......

Tony Merklin
Tony Merklin

To Save Lives and Injuries, I'm willing to Give Up portions of my Rights.....Too Many Idiot Drivers Out Here force us to make these decisions.........

Bill Long
Bill Long

Ban, ban and ban. Can't have these camera lights AND traffic nazi pigs..Isn't that a bit of a police state? Stop the madness! We'rehumans, not some working commodity serving only the police state as they wait to profit off of us as we "slip" with minor, non violent offenses. Kill the traffic profit economy which entraps everyday people into being petty criminals!

Chad Jones
Chad Jones

We don't have to vote they have already been band in most places..

David Lee Smithson
David Lee Smithson

Your vehicle is not a person e.g. it may not receive a ticket. Unconstitutional and should be eradicated.

Tony Bologna
Tony Bologna

If you break the law you deserve a ticket. If they didn't have cameras you guys would be bitching about cops hanging out at intersections waiting for people to blow lights just the same. And to answer your question I think that 80% of people who have recieved a red light camera ticket have never received more than one. That indicates a behavior change.

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

Better question: How does a camera prevent a crime? It doesn't otherwise there wouldn't be so many crimes caught on camera. A camera won't stop a drunk or someone not paying attention from running a solid red light. The only thing it does it catch someone passing the line .002 seconds after it turns red and this only happens because the municipality shortens the yellow light to the absolute minimum amount allowed by law in order to increase profit. The company who installs the cameras gets most of the profit and enters into a contract with the city to have the police department shake down the citizens for a "protection" payment. This is the same thing Mafia gangsters did during prohibition. The police department becomes nothing more than uniformed thugs.

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

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. Do you really want a private company deciding your guilt and profiting from it? Imagine letting Halliburton police America.

Brian Boyd
Brian Boyd

Sad story. Now explain how the camera would have prevented that? If someone isn't paying attention and runs a solid red light the camera won't prevent that, ever. Then ask yourself why the municipality ALWAYS shortens the yellow light to the minimum allowed when numerous studies suggest a longer yellow light is safer?

Eric Farlow
Eric Farlow

Oh wow, when you put it like that, it's still the same bullshit argument you've been saying. It's almost as if you completely ignore real data over and over again to be a smug douche.. You're like the guy that argues against contraception saying 'if these people just practiced abstinence...', yeah but it isn't happening, sorry you have a bogus ideology. "Red light cameras aren't throwing cars into intersections - dumbass drivers are." - a guy that doesn't understand causal explanations to differences in outcomes between control and experimental groups in scientific studies.

Tony Bologna
Tony Bologna

Or we can just take responsibility for our own actions and not drive like jackasses and cause accidents. Red light cameras aren't throwing cars into intersections - dumbass drivers are.

Victor Tonelli
Victor Tonelli

Also, buy a plastic reflective cover for LP. Photos result useless: reflects flash.

Victor Tonelli
Victor Tonelli

They are inenforcible = $ goes to private companies pocket. They cause accidents - people race to beat them

Victor Tonelli
Victor Tonelli

These were deemed illegal in CA - hundreds of people were scammed out of $100s. Don't pay the: unenforcible.

Emmett Hefele
Emmett Hefele

Melissa how red can cause accidents is people that jam on their brakes at the first sight of a yellow when they should have went thru on yellow. The person behind assumes that person is going thru the yellow he runs into car when he should have also made it thru yellow.

Eric Farlow
Eric Farlow

No, see I understand the elementary logic behind your statement, and I'm raising you pertinent information that makes the issue more complex than you care to acknowledge. So whether you're ignoring these facts because you or someone in your family benefit from this revenue stream, or (more likely) you're just a smug douche that doesn't care to concede on issues that don't outright affect you personally, I'm here to at least let these people know you're full of shit. :) have a nice day mr. bologna.

Tony Bologna
Tony Bologna

I've never ran a red light, so I've never gotten a red light ticket in the mail. How is my statement inaccurate?

Tony Bologna
Tony Bologna

They don't. People's actions behind the wheel cause accidents. What happened to people taking responsibility for their own actions?

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