Red Light Cameras | St. Louis Public Radio

Red Light Cameras

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In this week’s Politically Speaking news roundup, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Julie O’Donoghue discuss St. Louis' proposal to bring back red-light cameras, the city’s ban on “conversion therapy” for minors and how Missouri’s delegation is handling President Trump’s impeachment. 

St. Louis Public Radio’s Kae Petrin and the Kansas City Star’s D.C. correspondent, Bryan Lowry, join the podcast for some of these conversations. 

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The past year was a landmark one for many legal issues—both nationally and locally. On Thursday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” our monthly Legal Roundtable convened to discuss the legal decisions (or lack thereof) which had the most impact on 2015. They also looked ahead to 2016.

Joining the show:

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated with comments from attorneys, and the cities of St. Louis and St. Peters.

Getting caught on camera running a red light in St. Louis will no longer result in a fine.

In a 6-1 opinion issued Tuesday, the court called the city's ordinance governing red-light cameras unconstitutional because it assumes the owner of the car was the one driving the car at the time of the violation.

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The Missouri Supreme Court is mulling over three cases that could decide whether cities and towns can continue to use traffic cameras to catch speeders and red-light runners.

Two of the cases involve the use of red-light cameras, one in St. Louis and the other in St. Peters. The third case involves the use of speeding cameras in Moline Acres in St. Charles County.

Attorney Bevis Schock represents plaintiffs in the St. Louis and St. Peters cases. He told the high court Tuesday that their use creates a situation where the motorist is guilty until proven innocent.

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The Missouri Supreme Court has agreed to hear a legal challenge to a red light camera program.

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Voters in St. Charles County could decide this August whether to ban red light cameras on their roads.

District 2 Council Member Joe Brazil (R-Defiance) is expected on Monday to propose amending the county’s charter. If approved by the council, the proposal would appear on the ballot Aug. 5.

“Since we are a charter county and we’ve had the ability to do this, we’re just going to go ahead and do it,” he said.

St. Peters is currently the only municipality in the county that employs the controversial cameras, which are set up at seven intersections.

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The battleground over the use of red light and speed cameras in Missouri shifted this week from the courtroom to the state Capitol.

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Missouri’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman is being challenged by a suit filed last week in Kansas City. Eight same-sex couples living in Missouri are seeking the state’s recognition of their out-of-state marriages.

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Updated at 5:15 Friday with city' plan to turn cameras back on.

Red light cameras in St. Louis City will be turned back on. Friday, a circuit court judge stayed his order from earlier in the week.

In that order, he blocked the city from enforcing its red light camera ordinance, following a lawsuit filed late last year by two women who received tickets for running red lights in St. Louis.

The agreement between the St. Louis County Family Court and the Justice Department, almost a year and a half in the making, is aimed at correcting violations in young people's due process and harsher treatment directed at black children.
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The Missouri Court of Appeals today rejected the use of speed cameras in Moline Acres, saying the city’s ordinance conflicts with state law.

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The state of Missouri carried out its first execution in nearly three years last week, after a delay caused by the need to develop new execution protocols.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated at 4 p.m. with comments from red light camera opponents.

A memo to those who have gotten caught on camera running red lights in the city of St. Louis - you'll want to pay those fines, or take them to municipal court.

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The Missouri Court of Appeals heard oral arguments today in constitutional challenges to three red light camera ordinances in the St. Louis area.

Appeals planned against red-light cameras in Missouri

Sep 6, 2012
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

An appeal is planned after an eastern Missouri judge tossed out a lawsuit challenging the use of red-light cameras.

Jeff Brunner filed the suit last year against the city of Arnold and American Traffic Solutions, the Arizona firm that runs the city's red-light cameras. Brunner sued over a $94.50 fine for running a red light, arguing the cameras violate state law and are unconstitutional.

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Updated at 9:50 a.m. Wednesday with copy of Judge Neill's order.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. Tuesday  with comments from the city.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday with comments from plaintiff's attorney, more information on the ruling.

A St. Louis circuit court judge has ruled that the city's red light camera ordinance is both unconstitutional and violates state law.

Morning headlines: Friday, January 13, 2012

Jan 13, 2012
(Missouri Department of Transportation/MoDOT - St. Louis on Facebook)

Good morning! Here are some of today's starting headlines:

MoDOT director apologizes for Thursday traffic gridlock due to light snowfall

Mo. appeals court upholds Creve Coeur red-light camera fines

Oct 25, 2011
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A Missouri appeals court has upheld an ordinance in the suburban St. Louis city of Creve Coeur that imposes a $100 fine when cameras catch vehicles running red lights.

The Eastern District appeals court on Tuesday rejected an argument that the Creve Coeur ordinance violates due process rights by ticketing a vehicle's owner without knowing if the owner was driving when the vehicle ran a red light.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Have you gotten a ticket from one of 51 red light cameras in the city of St. Louis?

If a new court ruling stands, you might not have to pay the $100 fine.

New media campaign supporting red light cameras begins

Mar 14, 2011
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A new media campaign in support of red light cameras rolls out across Missouri today.

The advertisements are sponsored by a group calling itself the "National Coalition for Safer Roads."

David Kelly is the executive director.  He says there is a false impression that a majority of Missourians are opposed to red light cameras.

Testimony was heard in Jefferson City today on legislation that would outlaw the use of red light cameras in Missouri.

The bill is sponsored by State Representative Paul Weiland (R, Imperial).  He called red light cameras a gimmick for boosting revenue, saying that cities that use them fine violators without adding points to their driving records.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

South County Republican state Senator Jim Lembke says the opinion issued last week by attorney general Chris Koster still doesn't convince him that some municipal ordinances authorizing red light cameras are legal.

Lembke, who's introduced legislation again this year that would ban the use of the cameras, says he agrees that local governments are allowed to put up the cameras.

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New research from the National Coalition for Safer Roads, a group advocating for the use of red light cameras, shows that 71 percent of Missouri's registered voters support the use of the cameras at dangerous intersections.

The study, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies also shows that 47 percent of Missouri's registered voters "strongly support" the cameras.

The Jefferson County Council is holding the first of three public hearings tonight on red light cameras.

Last fall Jefferson County's three member board of county executives signed a five-year deal with American Traffic Solutions for a handful of red light cameras.

It now appears those cameras will not go up.

A newly elected seven-member county council is beginning a process to repeal a law that allows traffic cameras.

Bill Greenblatt / UPI

Missouri lawmakers have been pre-filing bills this week in preparation for the legislative session that begins next month. Here's the lowdown on these early ventures:

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 4, 2010 - Surrounded by uniformed police chiefs and officers from around the region, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay this morning declared his support for red-light cameras at city intersections, saying they had dramatically reduced red-light runners and accidents.

He also called on the Missouri Legislature, which is considering measures to ban the cameras, to drop the matter.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 4, 2009 - St. Louis Circuit Judge Robert Dierker has apparently lost his legal challenge of the city's red-light camera law.

Circuit Judge Ralph H. Jaynes ruled today that the city's red light cameras are legal and constitutional. Still pending is a determination of whether Dierker actually ran a red light.

This aticle first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 14, 2009 - It was a waiting game for hours Thursday night as legislative conferees sought to break the long-standing Senate logjam over SB386, the government omnibus bill.

But the word behind-the-scenes is that conferees apparently tossed out House provisions aimed at curbing or regulating the use of red light cameras at intersections.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, March 20, 2009 - The executive board of the Missouri Police Chiefs Association says it has officially endorsed red-light cameras "as part of a comprehensive traffic safety enforcement toolbox that should remain available to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads."

About 40 chiefs on the board signed the resolution, which declared that “utilizing technology to allow for the re-allocation of resources to immediate and officer-required specific public safety issues should not be discouraged but encouraged and recognized as effective resource allocation.”

This article first appeare in the St Louis Beacon, March 4, 2009 - A GOP pollster hired by American Traffic Solutions, a firm that makes red-light cameras, told a state Senate panel this morning that a solid majority of Missourians support the devices.

But those same people wrongly believe they're outnumbered, because of all the publicity and furor focused on red-light opponents, the polling results show.