St. Louis Mayor and Police Chief Fight Bill That Would Outlaw Red-Light Cameras

May 4, 2010 at 7:48 am
click to enlarge City: Cameras increase safety. Critics: Cameras increase cash.
City: Cameras increase safety. Critics: Cameras increase cash.
Mayor Francis Slay and police chief Dan Isom are lending their names to an effort to defeat a Senate bill that would outlaw red-light cameras throughout Missouri.

Slay and Isom are holding a press conference this morning in City Hall where they'll join forces with former U.S. attorney Ed Dowd, various municipal police chiefs, and Kathy Tremeear, a mother who lost her daughter to a red-light runner.

According to the mayor's office, red-light cameras can reduce injury crashes by 25 to 30 percent. And since their inception in St. Louis back in 2007, red-light cameras have resulted in reducing citations by over 65 percent. They mayor's office also says that courts across the nation have upheld the constitutionality of the cameras.

Hmm. Funny, though, that the mayor's office doesn't mention the millions of dollars in fees the city has generated thanks to the cash-cows, err, cameras, or the fact that the city has lost at least two court challenges involving the cameras.

The bill, SB637, sponsored by Sen. Jim Lembke (R - south St. Louis County/City) was endorsed 23-8 last month but still would require final votes in the House and Senate before heading to the governor's desk.