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.

Kim Norvell can be reached

at kim.norvell@newspressnow.com. Follow her on Twitter: @SJNPNorvell. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

(6) comments

tundra95

Stjoemessage - an official is correct in they do not control the lights, the state is in charge. However they can request the setting to be changed.
As for the cameras, they started taking photos after anyone passed the line after the light turned yellow. The city might of only gave tickets to those cars that followed the people turning on yellow but then turned red on them. But if you were at the enter section you could see when the cameras went off, especially at night. Can I say blinding!!

StJoeMessage

I asked an official if the length in seconds of when the light switches from yellow to red we decreased when the camera's were installed. The answer was no that the city doesn't have any control of the lights on the belt. Going from memory but it seems like prior to camera's there was about 8-10 seconds. After installation if you leave the intersection stop line you cant make a complete left turn without the yellow going red. Which was about 3 seconds. So then I was told the camera's only take a photo if your car leaves the stopping line when the stop light has already turned red. I am for ticketing red light abusers. Hopefully crossing the stopping line when the light is already red is the arrangement if the camera's are reactivated. The other concern is there has been a lot of press regarding the inaccuracy of the system.

stjlocal

@StJoeMessage...Get your video camera out and park near the intersection and time it, see what you get

tundra95

So which is it .... In the January 31 article you said the cameras were still on and now you say they have been off since mid January. I'm confused.

I would also like to thank whoever changed the timing on the lights, since the last article. They are back to giving more notice of when the light will turn yellow.

breakinwind

Its hard to give up easy money.

NoRegrets

Could probably make MORE money off those cameras, if they were installed AT SCHOOL CROSSINGS.... I have personally seen a great many drivers blow right through school crossings, even when the light is red, and crossing guards are already stepping into the street to allow children to cross.

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