Pine Lawn PD goes against own ordinance in mailing speed violation notices

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on August 13, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Updated Tuesday, Aug 13 at 8:13 PM

 (KMOV) -- A local municipality appears to be breaking its own rules on speed cameras all the while holding residents accountable.

The City of Pine Lawn hit drivers caught by their speed cameras with a hefty fine but there were major issues with the enforcement.

More than one thousand people were on the Pine Lawn City Hall docket last week and in the last six months the city has taken in more than $150,000 from fines.

Some waited hours to pay up or face jail time but the city’s own ordinance calls that threat into question.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCullough said “it’s a money grab, that’s all it is.”

News 4 requested a copy of Pine Lawn’s ordinance for speed cameras and came across three glaring issues.

The first, location, the ordinance says the cameras are meant for school zones, or areas with cross walks, but the camera at Natural Bridge and Rossiter is in an abandoned lot.

“I don’t know where the camera is situated, it may not be where the camera is situated, it’s more about where the camera is aimed,” Pine Lawn Prosecutor Anthony Gray said. 

The ordinance also said the cameras should be labeled to alert drivers they are there.

The third inconsistency is that tickets sent to violators did not have photos to show the driver when and where they got caught.

“It says a copy of the recorded image should be sent to the owner.”

If the violator didn’t show up to pay, they were threatened with jail time.

Gray said “any jail time someone would have received for not appearing in court would have been for failing to come to court and not for speeding itself.”

When asked if people who already paid should get their money back due to these missing items; Gray said “no, if they made a voluntary payment in my mind, I would think any reasonable person who feels as though perhaps they were not speeding in the first place would probably ask for some proof that they were speeding”

 

News 4 will continue to check to see if they begin to follow their ordinance before the next round of speed camera violators receive notice.

Click here to see the raw, uncut Sharon Reed interview with Anthony Gray. 

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