Update on Feb. 25 at 2:30 p.m.: Sen. Jim Lempke, (R) St. Louis, did not mention during the Senate hearing on Wednesday that he had a pending traffic camera ticket against him.Lempke is sponsoring a bill that would ban red-light cameras.
Lempke, told the Columbia Daily Tribune that he will appeal his conviction Friday in St. Louis Municipal Court to a higher court.
St. Louis cameras caught one of the four cars registered to Lembke driving through a red light on Jan. 12, 2010. Lembke said he wasn't driving the car, but he declined to say who was behind the wheel.
Lembke said he will continue to fight the case but has not hired an attorney.In documents obtained by KRCG and The Columbia Daily Tribune, Lempke asked Attorney General Chris Koster to give an opinion about the legality of red light cameras.In the letter, Lempke wrote that he believed the red light cameras were in "direct violation" with state statute.Click HERE to view a copy of Lempke's letter.In response, the AG's office sent a letter to Lempke stating that the red light cameras are legal.What do you think? Should Lempke have disclosed the information about his ticket during the hearing?(The Associate Press contributed to this story)
Update on Feb. 23 at 5:30 p.m.: Lawmakers met on Wednesday to discuss the banning of red light cameras in Missouri.Several communities use the cameras, but advocates for the bill said ticketing just by a photo of a camera means communities are making a lot of presumptions."There's a presumption with this that the person that the car is registered with is actually driving the vehicle," said Sen. Jim Lembke (R) of St. Louis. "The presumption is the only thing that is allowing this ordinance to be fulfilled."Jefferson County Senator Ryan McKenna said the presumption is hard for him to defend.Those in favor of the cameras said the courts have upheld the use of cameras already because owners are allowed the chance for punishment if they can prove the owner was not the one behind the wheel."The courts have held uniformily that these statutes, these ordinances are constitutional in every way; that they don't violate due process and don't violate equal protection," Former U.S. Attorney Ed Doud said.Red light camera critics said people who challenge the tickets almost always see the charge dropped because local governments won't fight in court because they can't win there.How do you feel about red light cameras? Are you for or against them?Original Story:The Missouri legislature will be meeting Wednesday for a hearing banning red light cameras.
The state Senate Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government will hold the hearing on Senate Bill 16, which would prohibit the use of cameras designed to take a photo of vehicles running red lights and send an automatic ticket to the car's owner.
The mother of Kayla Tremeear, a 10-year-old who died in 2002 after the family van was t-boned by someone who ran a red light, will speak to the committee in opposition of the ban. Kathy Tremeear is Honorary Co-Chair of Missouri Families for Safer Roads, a non-profit coalition committed to educating Missourians about the effectiveness of road safety cameras.
According to MFSR, red light running wrecks and tickets have decreased in intersections where cameras have been installed.
According to News-Press Now in St. Joseph, Missouri Senator Jim Lembke, R-St. Louis, has sponsored bills to prohibit the traffic cameras as both a senator and representative over the last 5 years. He has two problems with the red light cameras. First, he believes they violate at least 3 seperate amendments to the U.S. constitution. Second, the cameras often only identify the car itself, not the person driving.
The National Coalition for Safer Roads gave us a press release that says a statewide poll done in Missouri shows that 71% of voters support the red light safety cameras at dangerous intersections. They also say that 58% believe the cameras make roads safer.
They also gave us a link for a compilation of red light-running crash videos.
The Senate Committee will meet for that hearing at 1 P.M. in the Missouri Senate Lounge.
Is the process of receiving a ticket through the mail after being caught by a camera unconstitutional? Are you more careful about running red lights with the cameras in place? Let us know what you think about the issue by leaving a comment below.