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St. Peters puts temporary stop to red-light camera use

St. Peters has suspended use of its red-light cameras for traffic enforcement until it gets a clearer picture of the legal issues surrounding the devices.

The city’s Board of Aldermen approved a resolution by a 6-0 vote at its Aug. 28 meeting to suspend the city’s use of red-light cameras at intersections until the Missouri Supreme Court rules on legal challenges to their use.

The resolution states that the city “wishes to review the outcome of the pending legal challenges and legislative action that are being heard and proposed before continuing further operation of its ‘red-light cameras.’”

The city suspended use of the cameras effective Sept. 1 and will remove all red-light camera enforcement signs from intersections in the city. The suspension is in effect until further direction by the mayor or board, the resolution states.

Earlier this month, the state Supreme Court agreed to consider St. Peters’ challenge of a lower court ruling last year. Circuit Judge Ted House ruled last October that the city’s ordinance governing penalties for red-light camera violations conflicts with state law, which requires points to be assessed for moving violations

The resolution also mentions that the St. Charles County Council agreed in May to place a charter amendment on the November ballots that will allow county voters to decide if they want to ban the cameras countywide. The amendment requires a simple majority for passage. The resolution states that it is “not intended to express in any way support of the charter amendment.”

St. Peters Mayor Len Pagano and other municipal officials, including the St. Charles Municipal League, have opposed the charter amendment, saying it infringes on a city’s right to manage its own affairs.  Pagano also suggested that a legal challenge to the amendment was a possibility.

St. Peters is the only governmental body in the county that uses red light cameras.

Red light cameras take photos of vehicles that travel through intersections when traffic signals change to red.  Violators receive a ticket with photos of their vehicle and have the option of paying a $100 or more fine or appear in municipal court. St. Peters has used the cameras since 2006.  Proceeds from fines fund a senior transportation program.

 

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