Cities challenge St. Charles Countys red light camera ban -

Cities challenge St. Charles Countys red light camera ban

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By Elizabeth Eisele By Elizabeth Eisele

( – St. Peters, O’Fallon, Lake St. Louis, and a councilman from O’Fallon are filing a lawsuit in attempt to block a ban on red light cameras in St. Charles County.

Voters approved the ban November 4, with 73 percent of those who went to polls supporting the measure. However, those suing maintain the county has overstepped its legal bounds.

“Seventy-three percent of the voters pass a ban on red light cameras so what these cities are doing are suing 73 percent of the voters in St. Charles County, within their own cities. They’re suing their own residents,” said St. Charles County Councilman Joe Brazil.

Supporters of red light cameras say the cameras are for safety, while critics say they are just a money grab.  Who can regulate and restrict red light cameras is open to debate. St. Peters issued a statement saying:

No authority exists for St. Charles County to lay claim to the regulation of traffic on city streets.

“I believe what’s the point of having a municipality if you’re not going to organize and establish your own right and regulations,” said Elizabeth LaFlamme.

“The federal government has jurisdictions over the states, states have jurisdictions over the counties, the counties have jurisdictions over their municipalities, so it’s fairly clear that they have the right to impose laws on those municipalities, especially if those laws are voted into law by the voters,” said Roger Dalsky.

The attorney representing the cities filing the lawsuit said the county’s legal authority is very clear.

“The state can dictate what cities are authorized to do or prohibit the cities from doing things. There’s nothing in the Missouri Constitution that provides the county to do the same thing,” said attorney John Young.

Young believes it may be months or years before the lawsuit is resolved in court.

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