Cities reviewing red light camera programs

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CREVE COEUR, MO (KTVI)-- Just days after the Missouri Court of Appeals reversed its own ruling from just two years ago about red light cameras, cities using those cameras are now trying to figure out what changes they might have to make because of the court`s flip flop.

The original decision in 2011 involved a challenge to Creve Coeur`s red light camera safety program, because it ticketed the owners of cars caught running red lights without having to prove who was driving.

At the time, the appeals court said that was legal.

But now in a challenge to a similar red light camera program in Ellisville, the court has ruled cities who ticket owners without proving they were the person driving through the light are in violation of state law.

The court also ruled that those drivers found guilty must be assessed two points to their licenses because running a red light is a moving violation.

But these questions may still not be settled.

"Those issues will be taken up I think by the (Missouri) Supreme Court," said Ed Dowd, a representative for American Traffic Solutions, a company that installs red light camera systems.

"I think the most important thing from the decision from the Court of Appeals is that red light camera safety systems are constitutional," Dowd said.

Attorney Chet Pleban, who has also challenged red light cameras in court, thinks the appellate judges made the right decision.

"If you want to be a champion of public safety, photograph the driver, come into court, prove that that person was driving the vehicle, and upon conviction assess the two points," Pleban said. "That's how you affect public safety."

Creve Coeur`s Police Chief issued a statement saying the city is reviewing its options when it comes to the future of red light cameras.

The City of St. Louis says its program is unaffected by the ruling because it already allows owners to challenge tickets in court.

Kansas City, however has decided in light of the decision to suspend its red light camera program.

Still, Dowd is confident the future for red light cameras is positive.

"Red light cameras are here to stay."

Red-light camera controversy in Creve Coeur continues
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