Unmanned speed cameras still used, Pine Lawn thumbs its nose at - KMOV.com

Unmanned speed cameras still used, Pine Lawn thumbs its nose at St. Louis County

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

PINE LAWN, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Despite requests from St. Louis County to stop using unmanned speed cameras on county roads you can still find one in Pine Lawn and one in nearby Hillsdale.  City leaders say they’re not going to stop using them.
 
Pine Lawn parks the unmanned speed camera just off the county right of way on Jennings Station Road near Dowler Avenue.  Because the camera is off county property the county can’t remove it.  The camera sits about 100 yards away from Barack Obama Elementary School and city leaders say that’s what it’s all about.  The speed limit is 30 miles per hour
 
“We have people going in excess of 40, 45 mph right next to a school and a school safety zone,” said Pine Lawn spokesman Lou Thimes Jr.  “And they're endangering the lives of little kids.”
 
St. Louis County leaders don’t see it that way.
 
“In our opinion, they’re basically a revenue generator that criminalizes otherwise law-abiding citizens,” said David Wrone, spokesman for St. Louis County Department of Highways.  “Who, while driving with the pack, have the misfortune of being culled and ticketed.”
 
One tactic the county is using against communities with unmanned speed cameras is to target their signs.
 
“We have no legal authority to prevent (the cameras), but we do have the authority to remove any unauthorized sings on our right of ways,” said Wrone.  Some city ordinances allowing the speed cameras require a sign in that area saying “Speed Camera Enforcement Ahead.”  So by removing the signs the county puts the cameras in violation of the city ordinance.
 
News 4 did not see any signs in Pine Lawn on Thursday.  News 4 asked City Adminstrator Brian Krueger what was in the Pine Lawn speed camera ordinance.
 
“Sunshine it,” said Krueger.
 
When asked if he could simply tell us whether the ordinance required a posted sign warning drivers, he wouldn’t answer.  He said we would have to do a sunshine law request to get a copy of the ordinance.  The sunshine request is an open records request that legally requires public entities to share public information.  But the request can take days to be met.  News 4 will stay on it and report if Pine Lawn is violating its own city ordinance by using a speed camera without a warning sign for drivers.

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