St. Louis County police chief wants to end speed cameras


by Staff

Posted on September 27, 2012 at 4:14 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 28 at 2:09 PM

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo ( -- Frustrations over speed cameras in the area are growing and now St. Louis County’s top cop wants to put it up for a vote.

Police Chief Tim Fitch is looking to get rid of the cameras and he wants voters to do it.

Fitch said he probably hates the cameras more than most people. After spending two years trying to get state lawmakers to ban them, he’s now hoping for a county ban.

“I don’t like how they’re being used, that’s my only issue,” Fitch said. “People are being taken advantage of.”

Fitch thinks the portable speed cameras that now dot the roads in north St. Louis County are just cash machines for struggling small cities. He also thinks he has the solution.

“There is a charter in St. Louis County and the way the charter works is there are a couple ways to amend the charter,” he said. “One of those is by the county council to pass legislation to bring it to a vote of the people.”

Whether Fitch can pull it off is another matter. The St. Louis County Municipal League said the cities may not like it.

“The mayors don’t say ‘this is what you ought to do in your territory,’ sometimes they wonder ‘why are you saying what we should do in our territory?’”

And drivers who pass the cameras everyday know all about them. They told News 4 they’d vote on them.

“It’s a good idea done badly,” said one resident.” 

“I would vote against that, definitely vote against it. You can have an officer up there, but no speed cameras,” said another.

If the idea does pass the legal test in Clayton, it’s possible the county council will vote on it. If approved, it could be on the ballot by next April.