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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 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.

 

flyoverland October 15, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Wow, I'm shocked. The City will keep this cash cow. I love there rationale. Well, here's mine. There have been no fatalities at Spoede and Ladue, Or, Mosley and Ladue, or any of hundreds of other intersections over the same period. So, what? That 270 intersection is very confusing without the pressure of knowing Big Brother is watching. I know many people who avoid it when they can. These cameras need to go.
Robin Tidwell October 15, 2012 at 01:46 PM
I'd venture a guess that the constant bursts of white light from the cameras at 270 are responsible for more confusion and near-misses than simple traffic lights.
flyoverland October 15, 2012 at 02:47 PM
should have read "their" rationale.
flyoverland October 15, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Fewer cameras and more books!
Matt Hay October 15, 2012 at 05:55 PM
So, Creve Coeur is so concerned with safety that they are going to renew their contract almost a year early with Goldman Sachs owned American Traffic Solutions. Hmm, and why would they do that, as opposed to waiting through the next municipal election in April and just renewing 60-90 prior to the expiration? Worried about changes in the law, or changes in the intent of those on the Council, or just worried that the public will find out in the very near future, just who actually benefits from the $camera ca$h? The citations are unenforceable. Even St. Louis County Top Cop Chief Tim Fitch has said so. There is no statutory provision to support it in state law, so thus no enforcement.
Gregg Palermo October 15, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Matt, what would go before City Council as early as next week would not be a renewal with ATS, from what I understand. It would be revisions to the city ordinance that governs their use in Creve Coeur.
David Caldwell October 15, 2012 at 07:19 PM
The current budget does not have any money from the cameras after the current contract expires, and it still has a huge surplus. One idea mentioned was to use the ticket money to have a lottery for all Creve Coeur residents who did not get a ticket.
Stephen October 15, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Ok. How many of the fatals before RLC were RLR??? (AND WHAT WERE THE UNDERLYING CAUSE OF THOSE RLR FATAL CRASHES TOO: DUI, fleeing police, not paying attention, etc.). How many were RLR crashes before too?? (and what were the underlying cause of those crashes too). DID ATS "help" or collaborate in the report, like what happened in Kansas City, MO??? http://www.banthecams.org/Red-Light-Camera-News/kc-police-told-to-qcollaborate-or-at-least-consult-with-ats-before-releasing-more-info-on-rlc.html or http://www.kansascity.com/2012/01/24/3389558/kc-police-officials-request-more.html#storylink=cpy Funny they don't bright this up in this article. LA (before they dumped the RLC scam) made the same "no fatals". What was interesting was this quote:
Stephen October 15, 2012 at 08:40 PM
http://www.skyvalleychronicle.com/FEATURE-NEWS/HOW-ONE-MAN-DID-THE-HEAVY-LIFTING-THAT-KILLED-L-A-s-RED-LIGHT-TICKET-PROGRAM-br-And-what-lessons-may-be-learned-by-Monroe-and-other-cities-750067 "That the police department was making highly questionable claims about the safety effectiveness of the cameras based on flimsy (some would say lousy) data. For example, one LAPD claim was that five fatal accidents occurred at specific intersections before the red-light cameras were installed, and none occurred after. Reality: two of the five accidents were not red light related, he says, and a third involved a drunken driver who zipped through despite a camera there, mounted by a previous vendor. The fourth, "caused by a young distracted driver," likely would not have been prevented by a camera. "They were suggesting the cameras were stopping fatalities," he says, "but the examples they gave would not have been stopped by a red-light camera," said Beeber. He also found out the image that was being projected of people who “run” red lights was not accurate at all."
Stephen October 15, 2012 at 08:45 PM
(LA was a ATS TOWN!) RLC ARE A FRAUD! BAN THE CAMS! www.motorists.org www.banthecams.org camerafraud on Facebook
James C. Walker October 15, 2012 at 11:59 PM
If Creve Couer simply added one second to the yellow intervals on the lights and passed a city ordinance that slow rolling right on red turns would not qualify for tickets UNLESS the photo evidence revealed a specific safety issue at that time, the number of violations would drop so low that the cameras would be removed. If red light cameras are ONLY allowed to issue tickets to unsafe drivers, the number of those tickets is far too low for the fines to support the high camera costs which tend to be $3,000 to $5,000 per month per camera. The entire red light camera cash register industry is a money-grab scam that requires deliberately improper intersection engineering and/or the unethical ticketing of safe drivers that were not causing safety hazards at the time. Creve Couer residents should DEMAND a public vote on the cameras and it is 96% likely the vote will be NO on cameras as they have lost 23 of 24 vote so far. James C. Walker, National Motorists Association, www.motorists.org, Ann Arbor, MI
Scott Simon October 16, 2012 at 08:27 AM
You are right. A friend of mine was driving this summer and saw the flash, was startled and hit the brakes.
Scott Simon October 16, 2012 at 08:28 AM
Now you did it David. Bring up a lottery. Gambling. Another lawyer-government issue, LOL.
Scott Simon October 16, 2012 at 08:30 AM
James, thank you for your input. You're right. We should vote on it. Unfortunately, we're Creve Coeur and doubt it'll happen unless we started a citizen's petition to get on the ballot.

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