St. Louis County Police Chief Says Speeding Cameras Like ATMs

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI)-- St. Louis County's top cop says speed cameras are usually a scam and that county voters should decide whether to outlaw them.

Officials from cities that use speeding cameras say they're used for safety. County Police Chief Tim Fitch says they're actually more like ATM's.

From Charlack, to St. Ann, to Vinita Park, towns across St. Louis County are using cameras to catch speeders.

“I'm against how they're being applied, how they're being used. And the vast majority of them are being used for their sole purpose of raising revenue for that city,” Chief Fitch stated.

So Fitch wants the county council to put a measure on next April’s ballot county-wide on whether to outlaw speeding cameras throughout St. Louis County.

“Since everybody drives on the streets of St. Louis County, the voters should have an opportunity to weigh in on this. Everybody uses the roads. Everybody’s affected by these cameras,” said Chief Fitch.

Chief Fitch’s complaint about speed cameras is that they're often used as revenue sources for the city. In Vinita Park, they claim it is used mostly for safety.

“The camera is for safety.  So I’m all about safety, especially for our residents,” said Vinita Park Mayor James McGee.

Like all the mayors using speeding cameras, Mayor McGee says using the speeding cameras is to save lives, not to bring money into the city treasury.

“It's pretty small for us, we have businesses for our revenue, so we don't count on the camera at all for our revenue,” stated Mayor McGee. “My question for the mayor would be then you're okay with not getting the revenue from that, right? And see what his answer would be then.”

The St. Louis County Council would have to approve putting any speed camera initiative on April’s ballot. If that fails, then a petition drive could try to get enough signatures to put a speeding camera ban before voters.

St. Louis County executive isn't crazy about the idea saying he wants the issue decided by the state, not just St. Louis County.