In the early months of 2014, I was asked to come to a seminar at St. Peters City Hall by an organization on “the facts about red light cameras.” I was so intrigued by the information provided that I thought perhaps it would apply to our county.
In my research after the meeting, I found that where light cameras were installed, injuries and accidents from rear end collisions increased by 30%. St. Peters, from 2013-2014, issued 7,700 red light camera tickets in only 11 intersections with fines of $110.00 per ticket plus court costs. This process does not give a citizen the right to face his or her accuser and also consumes a considerable amount of time for residents trying to defend themselves. In most instances a police officer would have not noticed the split second infraction, or at best confronted the driver. Also, a red light camera company can receive up to 50% of all proceeds.
There are many pending law suits because of all the items I mention above, which is why the County Council decided to place this important issue on the ballot. The roads are shared and paid for by all citizens of St. Charles County and the State. I was pleased to see the residents of St. Charles County ban red light cameras, and to be the first county to do so in the State of Missouri. I’m sure we will see more to come.