The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission lifted the three-month moratorium on red-light camera installations but issued a new policy on how the cameras would be enforced.
The new policy says only certified law enforcement officers can determine violations; signs indicating the presence of red-light cameras must be posted at the approach to the intersection; and local entities must conduct a public awareness campaign prior to issuing citations.
"The policy provides better guidance on how the cameras can be used and more oversight to make sure the cameras are used to increase safety and prevent injuries and death," said MoDOT Director Kevin Keith.
In addition, cities and counties must submit an annual report providing safety and citation data to the state.
There are currently 88 red-light cameras on state highways. A 2011 MoDOT traffic study showed a 45 percent reduction in right-angle crashes causing fatalities and serious injuries at intersections using red-light cameras. There was a 14 percent increase, however, in collisions causing no injuries or minor injuries.
MoDOT only included 55 intersections in the analysis, the 33 other intersections lack the one-year minimum of data after the camera installations.
The study compared an undefined period of pre-red-light camera crash data to data collected 12 to 36 months after the cameras were installed. The statistics come from various municipalities, each with different reporting standards.
For Arnold, the MoDOT report showed about a 370 percent increase in total wrecks at the Richardson/Vogel intersection, from 14 prior to installation to 80 afterward. At the intersection of Hwy. 141 and Astra Way, there was a 90 percent increase to 69 wrecks from 36. Wrecks at U.S. 61, also called Jeffco Blvd., and Hwy. 141 increased to 119 from 106.
Only at the Jeffco Boulevard and Rockport Road intersection did the number of wrecks decrease to eight from nine during the same period, MoDOT reported.
Prior to the moratorium, the state Highways and Transportation Commission was concerned that cities were using the red light cameras more to generate revenue instead of increasing public safety.
Through Nov. 5, 2010, the City of Arnold has issued 32,909 tickets. The revenue generated was $2.159 million from the tickets paid, with the city receiving $1.23 million.
In addition to the new red-light camera policy, speed cameras are permitted on state highways, in school zones, MoDOT work zones and Travel Safe zones. Travel Safe zones are stretches of highways that have "above average" crash problems. In Jefferson County a Travel Safe zone exists along I-55 from Pevely to Route 67 in Festus.