Red Light Camera Ban Considered In Missouri Senate
JEFFERSON CITY - The state senate will hold a hearing Wednesday on a bill that seeks to ban red light cameras in Missouri.
Sen. Joe Lembke, R- St. Louis, is the sponsor of Senate Bill 16. According to the senate website, the bill "prohibits political subdivisions from using automated photo red light enforcement systems to enforce red light violations."
According to Lembke's chief of staff, James Murphy, the current laws in various municipalities are unconstitutional. He said most municipalities are not thorough in enforcing their red light camera ordinances.
"Who do you confront?" asked Senator Will Kraus, R- Kansas City, who is also in support of the bill. "You can't confront the camera. You should be able to confront your accuser."
According to Murphy, Senator Ryan McKenna, D- Jefferson County, has been against this type of legislation in the past. A spokesperson for Senator McKenna said the senator does not have a strong stance on this current bill. But Senator McKenna wishes more municipalities took pictures of the driver in question.
The City of Columbia produces four pictures from the cameras when there is a potential violation, including one picture of the driver.
Tony St. Romaine, Assistant City Manager for the City of Columbia, said MODOT already has given cities a criteria to follow for red light camera ordinances. He said the city follows this criteria and the cameras are not revenue generators.
St. Romaine estimated the city makes $18,000 a year in profit from the red light cameras. He said safety is the ultimate goal, not revenue.
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