Officials: Some St. Louis motorists could have red-light tickets thrown out

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by Matt Sczesny / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on June 12, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 12 at 9:39 AM

(KMOV) A decision from the Missouri Court of Appeals has upheld St Louis’ use of red light cameras and spared the city millions in refunds.

The ruling reverses a previous court decision that had ruled the city ordinance as unconstitutional.

The Appeals Court decision did say municipalities with the cameras may have “discovered the elusive goose that lays the golden egg,” but the system does not “diminish the benefits to public safety.”

Jeff Rainford, the mayor’s chief of staff says, “The idea is not to make them revenue producers, the idea is to reduce the accidents in intersections.”

City officials say there are now 138,000 unpaid red light tickets and that many of them must be paid or face forced collections. 

However, the court decision also gave a break to those who received tickets more than a year ago.

Those tickets were found to be flawed because they did not clearly state how to contest the tickets.

Just about a year ago the city changed the wording on their red light summons.

Rainford says they are still studying the ruling, but he believes that those with the older tickets could have them thrown out after showing them to a judge.

Meanwhile, the attorney who filed the original case, Russell Watters, tells News 4 he’ll likely now try to take the validity of the city’s red light cameras to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Click here to read the entire ruling from the Missouri Court of Appeals - http://www.courts.mo.gov/file.jsp?id=62516

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