Candidate for County Executive calls for traffic ticket reform

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI)- There is a movement to watch how traffic ticket revenue is collected. The Republican candidate for St. Louis County Executive, Rick Stream, wants to protect residents from what he calls abusive traffic ticket schemes.

Stream says a number of county municipalities are using speed traps and check points to generate millions of dollars in fine and far exceeding state law that caps how much money a municipality can collect for revenue.

Missouri law caps ticket collections at 30 percent of a town's revenue. Money that exceeds the 30 percent limit must be turned over to county schools. Stream says many of the counties 90 municipalities are well exceeding that cap.

He would like to see more state audits to ensure that every municipality is complying with the law and establishing penalties for those who don't.

Stream's reform plan also includes lowering the cap to 20 or 25 percent.

“I’d like to have it as low as possible,” said Stream. “Because what's the purpose of issuing traffic tickets? To make sure people change their behavior on the road. It’s not to collect revenue for a city,”

Stream's Democratic challenger for County Executive, Steve Stenger, said in response, "If Mr. Stream was really concerned about the traffic ticket schemes he would have addressed it when he was a State Representative instead of passing laws that allow for the open carry of assault weapons."

Stream noted some of the municipalities that are far exceeding the 30 percent cap, many are in North County, like Bel Ridge and Pine Lawn.

Stream also says he would like to use collection agencies to collect fines for minor traffic violations, instead of warrants that end up sending some of the low income to jail.