Red light camera ban fight heating up in St. Charles County -

Red light camera ban fight heating up in St. Charles County

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By Elizabeth Eisele By Elizabeth Eisele

( -- The fight over red light cameras heating up in St. Charles as voters will get to decide on a county-wide ban on those cameras in about two weeks. However, the decision will most likely not happen at the ballot box, but in the courtroom.

Nine intersections around St. Peters have been off since September 1st as the city decided to stop using them until a challenge made its way through the Missouri Supreme Court. On November 4th, voters will be asked to approve the county-wide ban on red light cameras.

Carl Bearden, with the St. Charles Citizens for Safer Roads, said his group is pushing for the ban, because they believe red light cameras are a money grab, not a safety issue.

“Red light cameras are really an issue of individual liberty,” Bearden said, “I can face you as my accuser if you’re a policeman issuing me a ticket. I can’t face a camera in court.”

However, critics said the county will be overstepping its boundaries with such a ban.

“The county doesn’t have authority to impose that on all the municipalities,” said Dardenne Prairie Mayor Pam Forgarty, who said only the cities can decide if they want to ban the cameras.

“[It] doesn’t matter where you live,” Bearden countered, “Whether you’re an unincorporated citizen, whether you’re a city resident, you get a red-light camera ticket – you’re faced with having to pay that.”

If the ban passes, Fogarty promises a lawsuit.

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