The Court of Appeals heard a trio of cases regarding the use of red-light cameras in St. Louis City, Creve Coeur and Florissant this week. The same constitutional and due process arguments that have been raised since these controversies began were raised again this week – namely, that these violations unjustifiably force a defendant to prove his innocence rather than place the burden of proof where it should be – with the State.
The three-judge panel is expected to rule on these issues later this year. This court will also soon hear a similar case out of Arnold, and the Western District Court of Appeals will hear arguments concerning the legality of Kansas City’s red-light camera system later this month.
Attorneys for aggrieved motorists and the cities in which they are in place (with support from counsel from ATS, the company making millions off these cameras) both argued their cases in predictable ways, rehashing the same arguments used in circuit court. While the motorists’ attorneys focused on mainly constitutional arguments, the attorney for the red-light camera that operates the devices in question said that “there is no constitutional right to run a red light.” After presumably similar arguments on the Kansas City red-light camera are heard, it is almost a certainty that this case will make it up to the Missouri Supreme Court later this year or early in 2014. Perhaps then we will finally have a decision as to whether these annoying cash cows are here to stay.
A novel way to rid our towns of these cameras: uncover a bribery scheme. The company that operates Chicago’s red light cameras lost its contract with the Windy City after a bribery scheme was uncovered earlier this week. This company (Redflex) operates many red-light cameras in St. Charles County, and they have had their own shady dealings in our area, according to the Riverfront Times.