City of St. Louis to appeal judge's red-light camera ruling

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by Brendan Marks / KMOV.com Staff | @BrendanMarks

KMOV.com

Posted on February 12, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 12 at 8:31 PM

(KMOV.com) – The city of St. Louis will appeal Circuit Judge Steve Ohmer’s ruling the city can no longer enforce red light camera tickets. 

The decision came more than two months after attorneys who represent two St. Louis women filed a petition to uphold a previous judgment to stop the red-light camera tickets.

St. Louis officials and those against red-light camera tickets had until the end of January to file additional submissions in the case over the legality of the cameras.

After the new submissions, Ohmer on Tuesday ruled the city can no longer ask alleged violators to pay their tickets and collection letters can no longer be sent for red-light camera tickets.

St. Louis City Counselor Michael Garvin said a court of appeals opinion in June found a small flaw with the program, which he said has since been fixed. He said Ohmer’s decision conflicts with the June ruling.

Related: Judge rules St. Louis cannot enforce red-light camera tickets

“We are trying to follow the various courts’ decisions, but because there are so many conflicting rulings, it is difficult.  So, this issue remains on a path to be decided by the Missouri Supreme Court,” he said.

The city said it not a legality issue, but how the red light camera system is operated. The city said it had earned $22,000 a day from the cameras, a third of which goes to American Traffic Solutions. In 2013, the city says $6 million were collected in fines.

Red-light cameras were first installed in St. Louis in 2007 and in early 2013 were deemed legal by the courts.

The cameras have been a source of controversy for several municipalities in the St. Louis area, with appeals and reverses in St. Louis, Ellisville, Creve Coeur and St. Peters, among others.

 

According to the Missouri Municipal League, more than 30 cities in the state have ordinances tied to red-light cameras.

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