St. Louis City Wants Red Light Camera Violators To Pay Up

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)--   If you owe the City of St. Louis money for an unpaid red light camera ticket, the city has a message for you.

"If you don`t pay your ticket you are going to hear from us," said St. Louis Director of Public Safety Eddie Roth.

The warning comes after a recent decision by the Missouri Court of Appeals that overturned a lower court ruling, saying the city has the authority to have a red light camera violation ordinance.

And even though the city says the issue is not about money, almost $14 million is owed from about 138,000 unpaid red light camera tickets.

"Our interest is not to press people to the wall on these things. but we have an obligation to keep our streets safe, and this help us do this," Roth said.

The legal debate however, is continuing.

"There are some issues the court of appeals didn`t address," said Patrick Bousquet, an attorney for the plaintiffs.

"They didn`t address our argument that the system violated the accused persons' right against self-incrimination; they didn`t address the fact that the ordinance conflicts with an existing state statute about running red lights," Bousquet said.

He says the plaintiffs will continue to fight and go all the way to the Missouri Supreme Court, if the court will hear the case.

In its ruling, the appeals court wrote: "As disconcerting as it may seem, the financial windfall enjoyed by municipalities implementing the automated camera system does not diminish the benefits to public safety occasioned by any potential reduction in traffic accidents."

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