City officials say they will hold off on a decision regarding red-light cameras, despite the Missouri Supreme Court’s recent denial to hear three cases.
The high court rejected transfer requests on Tuesday from Creve Coeur, Kansas City and Florissant, Mo. No reason was given for the denial.
Decisions have not been made, however, about more recent cases out of Ellisville and Arnold, Mo. The former city’s ruling is what prompted St. Joseph to suspend its cameras last November.
In all five cases, the city’s systems were found to violate state law because drivers were not issued a moving violation, which should result in points assessed against the violator’s license.
City officials say they still will hold off on any decision about St. Joseph’s system until the Supreme Court makes a decision on the final two cases.
“We still remain very interested in what the Missouri Supreme Court says about all the issues,” said Bruce Woody, city manager. “We certainly feel more comfortable making recommendations to the City Council after all cases have been adjudicated.”
Chris Connally, chief of the St. Joseph Police Department, said city leaders also want to wait until the end of the current legislative session in Jefferson City, where lawmakers have proposed a number of bills that would further regulate — or even terminate — red-light cameras.
“We’ll continue to follow the courts and monitor legislation in Jefferson City,” he said.
Those who advocate for the cameras say the systems reduce crashes at those intersections, as well as free up resources for police. Those against the systems maintain they’re simply a ploy to generate revenue.
A spokesperson for American Traffic Solutions, the company that operates the cameras here and statewide, said in a statement he’s hopeful the Supreme Court will take up one of the remaining cases.
“We firmly believe Missouri cities should have the right to pass and enforce public safety ordinances that save lives and free up law enforcement to fight crime in other areas,” said Charles Territo.
Red-light cameras were approved by the City Council in 2011 and were installed in February 2013. Although they’re still at their designated posts, the cameras have been turned off since mid-January.
Since the cameras went live, drivers have been issued 3,137 citations and the city has netted approximately $97,260.