Future remains uncertain for red light cameras - KCTV5

Future remains uncertain for red light cameras

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The red light cameras in Kansas City will remain off, at least for now. The city had hoped Missouri's Supreme Court would give them the green light to use the cameras.

But the Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that it will not hear the cases of three cities whose red-light camera laws were challenged in lower courts. The high court refused to hear the cases of the cities of Creve Coeur and Kansas City, MO, and red-light camera vendor American Traffic Solutions Inc. The high court also rejected a request that came from an appeals court ruling involving the city of Florissant.

This means the ruling made by the appellate court stands, which states the red light camera ordinance is invalid.

Kansas City, MO, Councilman John Sharp said the city will continue to fight for the use of red light cameras.

"It doesn't mean that they won't eventually deal with it if the legislature doesn't, but it will be tried at the local level," Sharp said.

The plaintiffs claim the red light cameras go against state laws by allowing drivers to commit a moving violation without putting points on their licenses. Plaintiffs say it's just a way for cities to make money.

But the city said the cameras act as a deterrent.

"We would have preferred they remain in place. All statistics show we've had a huge increase in the number of people running red lights," Sharp said.

Drivers see it both ways.

"They caught me once and it made me more careful. I haven't gone through one since," Katleen Brock said.

"I don't know if I like them, but if it deters people from speeding then I guess it's worth it," Maggie Alston said.

Now that the state's highest judges denied the request to hear the case it means the cases will go back to Jackson County Circuit Court and the red light camera ordinance remains suspended.

The state Supreme Court has not yet addressed more recent appeals court rulings in cases involving challenges to the Ellisville and Arnold, MO, photo enforcement ordinances.

Kansas City has 28 red light cameras in place and made about $2 million a year from tickets.

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