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Red light cameras pending in Mo. Senate

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By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Supporters of red light cameras traveled to the Missouri Capitol today to urge lawmakers not to ban their use.

In 2002, Kathy Tremeear of Moscow Mills lost her 10-year-old daughter Kayla when a motorist ran a red light and struck their van. It happened at the intersection of State Route 141 and Jeffco Boulevard in Arnold. Tremeear lived in Arnold at the time.

The intersection did not have red light cameras in 2002, but it does today.

"That's a good thing; I believe in it...I believe that if there were red light cameras at that time, I think Kayla would still be here," Tremeear said.

Tremeear made her comments during a press conference at the State Capitol. Other press conferences were held today in St. Louis and Kansas City. Supporters said that cities that use the cameras have seen a reduction in the number of traffic crashes involving red light runners.

The Missouri Senate recently amended a transportation bill to include a ban on red light cameras. Critics say cities are mainly using them as a way to make money.

The amendment was sponsored by State Senator Jim Lembke (R, St. Louis).

"I'm guilty until I prove my innocence, that's exactly how these things are used...you get a ticket in the mail, you either incriminate yourself or someone else, or you send them the check...so the state has no burden of proof," Lembke said.

The transportation bill needs another Senate vote before moving to the Missouri House, where the red light language could be stripped out.

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