HAZELWOOD, Mo. (KMOV) -- Hazelwood and Calverton Park are the latest cities to say they want to use speed cameras instead of police to catch drivers speeding.
Only a handful of North County communities are using speed cameras, but their use and motives have been looked on with suspicion.
Howdershell Road in Hazelwood is notorious as a street that’s keeps police busy busting speeders.
“They go too fast and don’t pay attention to the lights a lot of times,” said Hazelwood resident Wilma Stockton.
Two school zones on the road are where speed cameras might be used in Hazelwood. The city council will make a final decision on the cameras next month.
North Florissant Road at Young Driver is where Calverton Park will install a camera if MoDOT approves.
But critics say it’s a money grab.
“It’s a violation of civil rights,” said “A.J,” who did not want his full name used.
Police say it’s not about making money or taking away rights, but about safety.
They say it’s a technology to get drivers to slow down and is also safer because officers do not have to chase down and stop speeders.
MoDOT established rules on where speed cameras can be used. According to the rules, the cameras can only be installed in school zones, sections of highway with high accident rates and work zones.
That includes I-270 and N. Lindbergh, where MoDOT is scheduled to begin a project soon.
Police say the cameras also extend their police force.
“It’s like having an automated police patrolman in the area that’s enforcing the speed,” said Calverton Police Chief Vince Delia.
Delia said officers can instead be doing other things to keep the community safe.
To counter critics, Calverton Park says residents should look at their red-light camera statistics. Police said they wrote a lot of tickets when it first went up, but once drivers learned it was there, tickets dropped nearly 80 percent.