Judge Strikes Red-Light Law in St. Louis

Though near-by, the ruling applies to St. Louis city only.

A St. Louis Circuit Court judge last week struck down St. Louis city's red-light camera law.

Judge Mark Neill, in the 22nd Judicial Court of St. Louis, in a ruling on Feb. 17, upheld a partial judgment he made last May that found the city improperly enacted its red-light camera ordinance.

The Riverfront Times reported that the decision voids any outstanding or new citations issued by the city, though Neill also ruled that those who had already paid a fine are not entitled to a refund because they gave it up voluntarily.

A Jan. 17 Arnold Patch article reported that the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission had on red-light camera installations but issued a new policy on how the cameras would be enforced.

At the Jan. 23 meeting of the Jefferson County Council, Councilman Bob Boyer introduced a measure

Arnold has had red-light cameras since 2005.

A MoDOT report showed a 370 percent increase in total wrecks at the Richardson/Vogel intersection, from 14 prior to installation to 80 afterward. At the intersection of Highway 141 and Astra Way, there was a 90 percent increase, to 69 wrecks from 36. Wrecks at U.S. 61, also called Jeffco Boulevard, and Highway 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.

Dan Hyatt March 19, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Look up the Missouri Traffic Commissioners minutes from January 12, 2011 This was where the traffic commissions took a soft stance, but took a stance against these programs... They did not clearly call it out, but Missouri traffic code madates MODOT to invalidate traffic ordinances that it determines to be primarily for revenue generating rather then for safety or to facilitate the flow of traffic... Modot MUST certify the new ordinances (or existing ordinances) to be in compliance with them NOT being for revenue generating.
Dan Hyatt March 19, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Mr. Moritz, I have questions for you. 1. How many fatal/serious injury accidents has your city encountered in the last 5 years as a result of people zipping through the light within 2/10ths of a second of the red. 2. What percent of fatal/serious injury accidents in STL area had the person running a red light for between one tenth and two tenths of a second? (hint almost all are green/green or over 3 seconds) 3. Why does your city write 1000 tickets a month in direct violation of the federal engineering standards adopted by Missouri which mandate re-engineering of the light to eliminate most of the violations...often as simple as adding 1 second to your current yellow setting....easily proved by what percentage of your citatations are under 2/10ths of a second. 4. The camera may have been added before you took the helm, but you are still managing misconfigured red lights CAUSING accidents in order to raise revenue.
Bill Moritz March 19, 2012 at 11:46 PM
1) None - I think the last was six years ago 2) Who knows 3) Not true - The intersections in Arnold are on MoDOT controlled intersections. Arnold has nothing to do with timing of lights at the four intersections. Easily verified. 4) Distracted and/or careless motorists cause the accidents not the MoDOT lights and not the cameras.
Dan Hyatt March 20, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Bill, thank you for your honest answers. That speaks volumes. Unfortunately many will give the PC answers "its about safety" rather then the truthful answers. I have read substantial data from many sources that indicate these photo enforcement programs increase danger and accidents, and since they do nothing to facilitate the flow of traffic, then the only justification left is revenue generating which is the conclusion that MODOT came to on Jan 12, 2011 without any reasonable input from us opposing these techniques. I am all for reasonable attempts to improve safety (making a national speed limit of 25mph would increase safety but is completely unreasonable). But I take exception at actions to raise revenue under the false flag of improving safety.
Ann Asher April 05, 2012 at 04:33 PM
I would like to know if this finding suggests that all red light traffic enforcement cameras are illegal and their citations not enforceable ? St Robert and Waynesville have installed them. I don't like it. I think it is an invasion of privacy. I do think people who are unnerved by the sight of cameras are more likely to make a mistake or slam on their brakes when they should have continued safely through the intersection and leading to accidents. What this article shows is that motorists are better at self regulation than being regulated.


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