Ruling upholds red-light cameras; unbiased attorney says pay up

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by John Knicely / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on May 16, 2012 at 8:56 PM

Updated Thursday, May 17 at 11:46 AM

FLORISSANT, Mo. (KMOV) -- Red-light camera supporters are celebrating a big legal victory.

St. Louis County Circuit Judge Tom DePriest, Jr. On Wednesday threw out a class action lawsuit challenging Florissant’s red light camera ordinance. News 4 is investigating what it means for red-light camera ordinances in other cities and what it means for those of you who’ve gotten a ticket.

The ruling backs a previous ruling that upheld the Creve Coeur red-light camera ordinance.  It shows that the ordinance does not violate Missouri law.  And it upholds that cities can ticket the owner of the car regardless of who was driving through the red light.

Does availability of surveillance equipment increase security or violate privacy? Share your thoughts.

We went to a legal expert who doesn’t have a dog in the fight.  Andy Crouppen of Brown and Crouppen has not been party to any red-light camera cases.  He admittedly doesn’t like the red-light cameras but says this ruling means you better pay up.

“For instance in Creve Coeur and now in Florissant I think probably they're enforceable,” said Crouppen. “Now the ordinances say they can't arrest you so they're much like parking tickets. They can probably tow your car. You're probably better off paying them.”

This applies for most cities in the St. Louis area, but St. Louis City is a whole different animal. A judge has ruled the city ordinance is unconstitutional because it goes after the driver more like a speeding ticket. Despite that ruling the city continues to enforce its ordinance as it makes a legal appeal.

Multiple attorneys tell us they’re not paying city red-light camera tickets since the judge ruled them unconstitutional.

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