Missouri Supreme Court to hear city’s red light camera case

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - The Missouri Supreme Court says it will review the Tupper vs. City of St. Louis case which asks whether or not the City of St. Louis can use red light cameras. The announcement was made Tuesday.

The red light camera program has been on again off again in the city of St. Louis because of a number of court rulings. Now comes word from Jefferson City that the Missouri Supreme Court will hear the issue of whether or not the city of St. Louis can use red light cameras.

In February, a judge reinstated the red light camera program and established an escrow fund in case the law was overturned. That decision went against a ruling just a week earlier when another judge ruled the ordinance was invalid and the judge said the city should not enforce the law.

Many drivers and attorneys have been critical of red light cameras saying they are nothing but a money grab. St. Louis city leaders argue the cameras are about safety.

Chief Dotson expects the court to give a clear ruling on the issue which will have an impact on other Missouri cities that have red light cameras. Dotson has called the cameras "a valuable public safety tool”.

No word yet on when the state supreme court will hear the case.


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  • TheREALByeBye2TheSickoRite

    This ought to be an interesting case.

    Does “Tupper” have a lot of money? Is his stack almost as high as the City of St. Louis? Then he will WIN and red light cameras will be declared invalid!

    But if “Tupper” is just an average working-class Joe, and nobody with big bucks who actually owns and controls our government (like Rex “DollarSignQuest”) joins the case against red light cameras, then we the people will lose and it will be back to blatantly unconstitutional tickets arriving in the mail any time somebody runs the first billionth of a second of a red light.

    But right now, the only Constitutional right that seems to matter or be protected anymore is the supposed right to guns, strangely the only right not specifically in there anywhere! All the OTHER rights are being trampled daily, and we the people aren’t doing enough to stop it.

    I just hope justice prevails and this ordinance is thrown out. Then they can send cops out looking for truly dangerous drivers, if they’re so concerned about safety (which we know this has nothing to do with!)

    • EnoughPC

      Someone obviously has never read the Constitution. What do you not understand about “The RIGHT to KEEP and bear arms?” It really cannot be any clearer, even to a simple minded person like yourself. When in history has a gun killed anyone? I would love to hear your answer.


    Red light cameras are great the problem is they need to collect more money for the state. This is the real byebye and I say if your rich and run a red light 675$ but if your black and poor no ticket.

  • Rob S

    Just an observation of the Fox 2 News coverage of the story. Why are the only video clips showing people flying through these intersections? There is another side of the spectrum. Many of these tickets are issued for right turns on red. These people aren’t barreling through the intersections at high rates of speed. And, Chief Dotson’s claim that 80 percent aren’t repeat offenders. Maybe not at that same intersection ticketed previously. Back to the top of my comment. FOX 2, if you’re going to run a story about two sides. One for safety and the other suggesting a money grab. Then, show the numerous and hundreds of red light tickets for people merely turning right on reds. IE Skinker and Lagoon and Hampton/Wilson intersections. Not all these tickets are as dramatic as the video footage you’ve provided today. Journalism has responsibility on what is real.

  • concerned citizen

    Just curious if a cop were sitting next to a red light would you run it? And would you expect to get a ticket if you did? You say youd rather have them going after bigger crimes? With all the state cut backs I’m sure police are getting cutbacks as well. If you don’t want a ticket don’t run a red light. Who’s going to throw a fit when one of your loved ones are carjacked at a red light or hit at a crosswalk? You do realize these cameras catch crimes too? With crime up during the summer months it could be your or a loved ones life you save or a way to help find the person responsible. I’m all for it if it saves someone. Just don’t run the light. Simple.

  • Rob S

    Concerned Citizen, The real issue at hand is more than running a red light. A.) Who was the actual driver. B.)Where is the due process. C.) By, your contention these are to be used for capturing video images on a broader stroke. All of the above are constitutionally inacceptable.
    If, the argument is for safety. Then, lets see the numbers. FOX 2 wants to show these extreme accidents. My contention is there is not a significant change due to video camera installations at intersections. To suggest these cameras help for safety. Think again. And, let’s allow for due process. Not dollars that get split to the camera company not even in the great State of Missouri.
    I’d like to FOX 2 journalists run down exactly how much money they’re garnering. How many accidents have been reduced. And, would love to see Dotson’s answer to the police triage emphasizing more violent crime. I would suggest any police presence especially at major intersections is effective with both major and minor crime. Ban the cameras. These have no due process and are constitutionally illegal.

    • TheEasyWayOut

      Even though this case revolves around the city of St. Louis, I think alot of viewers are forgetting about St. Louis county cities like Pine Lawn. Pine lawn made 1 million dollars off of Red Light Tickets over the past 2 years and spent the money on increasing the the mayor’s salary by 300% and the salaries of other city administrators as well. So I beg to differ with any that says this is not a money grab.

  • James Walker

    The rea$on$ citie$ $eek to u$e camera$ for ticket$ are obvious$ to mo$t ob$erver$, and tho$e rea$on$ do NOT include $afety. Red light cameras are a pure money grab program. In virtually every case, simply adding 0.7 to 1.0 seconds to the yellow intervals will reduce violation rates by MORE than the cameras achieve. Red light cameras are for-profit business partnerships between for-profit camera companies and cities willing to deliberately mis-engineer their traffic lights for less safety to get more tickets and more revenue.

    Red light cameras need to be banned by law in every state, as they are in some already. If governments were not the for-profit business partners of the camera companies, the cameras might well be declared to be an ongoing criminal enterprise that could be prosecuted under the RICO statutes. See our website for more information on how the scams operate.

    James C. Walker, Life Member – National Motorists Association, http://www.motorists.org

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