Red light camera laws have been controversial across the nation with opponents saying they are unconstitutional, and supporters saying they save lives, but the Eastern District Missouri Court of Appeals reversed St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Mark Neill’s ruling last year that the city lacks authority to enact a red light camera ordinance.
Judge Neill struck down Saint Louis City’s red light camera ordinance in February, 2012 under the grounds that the law was unconstitutional since there was no way for the accused to contest a violation unless they state that someone else was driving the vehicle at the time of the alleged violation.
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The city claimed that issue was fixed last year, but opponents to the red light camera ordinance say the city was still collecting fines illegally.
The red light camera program started in 2007 under a partnership with the company American Traffic Solutions. Violators receive $100 citations in the mail, and a portion of each fine goes to American Traffic Solutions. Last year, the company received $1.7 million out of the $5.4 million in fines the city collected from red light camera violations. There are 65 cameras at 31 intersections in the city. The city claims it has seen up to an 80% reduction in violations at some the intersections that first received the red light cameras.