ST. LOUIS – The City of St. Louis is planning to bring back red light cameras and other automated traffic enforcement. Officials are pushing for their return despite a prior court ruling that they were illegal.
On Monday, Mayor Tishuara Jones joined bicyclist and pedestrian advocates to discuss red light camera legislation.
The effort is a part of the St. Louis Safer Streets Initiative, which aims to improve street and pedestrian safety through engineering, enforcement, education, evaluation, equity, and encouragement—the six E’s of traffic safety.
“From engineering on our streets to enhancing enforcement, St. Louis is working to make our city safer no matter how you choose to get around, across ages and abilities,” Mayor Jones said. “Automated traffic enforcement is a proven, effective tool used by hundreds of municipalities across the country to hold drivers accountable and improve safety on our streets. These programs save police time and resources while reducing contact between residents and officers.”
Highlights of the legislation include:
- Directing all fine revenue to infrastructure, driver education, and program administration.
- Consistent evaluation and data analysis to ensure communities of color do not face a disproportionate amount of fines and fees.
- Ensuring due process to fit the criteria outlined by the Missouri Supreme Court while protecting privacy rights.
“Data suggests that 1-in-4 traffic fatalities happened when at least one of the parties are involved with speeding. We know with more thoughtful infrastructure and better traffic enforcement, these types of tragedies are preventable,” Board of Aldermen President Megan Green said.
The move comes eight years after Missouri Supreme Court rulings severely restricted the use of red light cameras in St. Louis City and across the state.
Clayton-based attorney Chris Dulle studied the red light camera debate for years and has some doubts about the new legislation.
“I understand they believe that they are going to set up cameras that will show the driver of the vehicle which, in some states, it’s been shown to work. But unfortunately, that won’t make our streets any safer,” Dulle said.
“People who are the worst offenders, who run red lights in the City of St. Louis, are not going to stop doing it just because there is a camera there. And the tax falls to the ordinary person, who barely runs the stop light.”
The bill is expected to be introduced at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen meeting this week.