Interesting news regarding citizens’ best friends this week. First, a St. Charles Circuit Court judge dismissed a St. Peters red light ticket on the grounds that the ticket, which does not result in any points for a moving violation, conflicts with the State law that a moving violation SHALL result in points. The Judge made no decision as to whether the St. Peters ordinance should be voided, but it serves as a useful precedent for future cases.
Also, the Riverfront Times featured an article highlighting the latest trick used by our friendly northern suburbs in robbing drivers of an easy $100. These new “utility boxes” in towns like Country Club Hills and Vinita Park are actually disguised speed cameras, and according to this article, they violate the speed camera policy promulgated by MoDOT. While Missouri has no state law regarding these cameras, MoDOT has placed some guidelines on their use: these cameras should be clearly marked (they’re not); and speed cameras should only be placed within established school, work and safety zones (they’re not). Unfortunately, these are just “guidelines” and until Missouri enacts actual laws regarding their use, expect for these “utility box” speed cameras to stay put. As County Police Chief Tim Finch said on his blog, “I’m a little surprised they haven’t designed one that looks like a tree or a flag pole.”
Finch, a long-time vocal opponent of these money grabs, went on to say “”I don’t give legal advice, but what I have told friends and family is if you get one of these, go find the nearest shredder and insert them into it. And when you get a letter from the law firm saying they are going to take away your first-born child if you don’t pay the ticket, put that letter in the same shredder.”
I’m not sure if I would go that far in advising clients who receive these tickets, but I can say, unequivocally, that with these shady speed cameras, and all of the many “Accident Reduction Zones” along I-70, you just really should not exceed the speed limit by even 2 miles per hour in North County. It’s that simple.