Red Light Cameras Seem Likely To Stay
A Creve Coeur Police analysis of the program here endorses keeping the cameras in operation.
The Creve Coeur City Council could hear an ordinance as soon as next week that would move to extend the city's use of "Red Light" cameras.
A Creve Coeur Police staff report prepared for last week's council meeting endorsed the move, although the city's contract, with American Traffic Solutions, doesn't expire until September of next year.
The cameras are located at Ladue Road & Couer De Ville and Ladue & Emerson, Olive Boulevard and Interstate 270, and Olive Boulevard at North New Ballas Rd.
According to the police analysis, there have been no fatalities at the intersections since the cameras were deployed. Sideswipes and lane changes have increased at Olive and 270, while red light running crashes at that intersection have averaged 1 per year since cameras were installed.
The city's success with red light cameras comes as other cameras used by area municipalities as traffic tools have come under fire. St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch is backing the idea of putting the use of cameras as a speed enforcement measure, not for red light runners, to a public vote, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other news reports.
The earliest that could be put to a vote would be next spring.
The possibility of that vote came up as Creve Coeur residents questioned Mayor Barry Glantz and other city officials about red light cameras at a recent informal coffee gathering, so more education may be necessary on that front.
Another area of emphasis moving forward, according to Creve Coeur City Attorney Carl Lumley, will be to improve on the roughly 10 percent of red light camera tickets which have gone unpaid since the program began.
Lumley attributes some of the pushback on paying up to "intemperate public statements" from state senators and radio personalities who have been outspoken in their opposition to red light cameras in general.
As KMOV-TV has reported, State Senator Jim Lembke's case in South St. Louis City drew attention and was ultimately thrown out on constitutional grounds the city claims it has resolved.
Radio Talk Show Host Jamie Allman has in recent years pointed out which municipalities would actually enforce the ordinances and the lengths they would do so.
Lumley said the city is sending out letters to outstanding ticketholders to clarify legal confusion over the cameras, and to inform them that Creve Coeur's ordinance has been upheld by the Missouri Court of Appeals.
He also suggested that Creve Coeur could move to bar those with outstanding citations from obtaining city permits.