Columbia suspends red light camera prosecutions

Red light camera prosecutions are on hold in Columbia.

The city temporarily suspended prosecutions following Tuesdayâ??s Eastern District Court of Appeals decision that ruled the City of Ellisville red-light camera ordinance in conflict with state law. The Eastern Districtâ??s court decision is subject to appeal or rehearing. The City of Columbia will consider options for its red-light program as the City of Ellisville case progresses through the court system.

The City of Columbia adopted its red-light camera ordinance Aug. 21, 2006. The original ordinance placed responsibility on the driver for the red-light violation. Gatso, the cityâ??s red-light camera vendor, offered a program that included photographs of the drivers and complied with Missouri law. In 2011, the Eastern District Court of Appeals in the City of Creve Coeur vs. Nottebrok upheld Creve Coeurâ??s ordinance which imposed liability on the vehicle owner regardless of whether the owner was operating the vehicle at the time of the violation.

In reliance on the Court of Appealâ??s decision in the Nottebrok case, the City of Columbia amended its red-light camera ordinance Aug. 19, 2013, to place liability on the vehicle owner rather than the operator. The temporary suspension of the red-light camera prosecution will only impact those being prosecuted under the current ordinance. Prosecution of red-light camera cases that occurred prior to the Aug. 19 amendment will continue.