Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pollster Claims Support for Red-Light Cameras is "Best Kept Secret" in Missouri

Posted By on Tue, Mar 17, 2009 at 2:55 PM

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The Arizona-based company that manufacturers and operates nearly all red-light cameras in Missouri is fighting back against opposition to its traffic monitors.

Last week Daily RFT broke news that the St. Louis Police Officers' Association voted overwhelmingly to reject the use of the cameras in St. Louis. The police association's action followed efforts in Jefferson City to ban the use of the cameras throughout Missouri. Meanwhile, plaintiffs in Jefferson County are suing the camera company in federal court on charges that it violated their civil rights and attempted to collect fines through fraud and extortion.
   
In response to some of these attacks, camera vendor American Traffic Solutions (ATS) recently commissioned a poll of Missouri voters. In a press release issued today, pollster Neil Newhouse says 66 percent of Missourians favor the cameras as opposed to just 30 percent who oppose the devices.

Even more surprising -- according to Newhouse -- is the misconception that most Missourians disapprove of the cameras.

He says his study found that by a margin of 47 percent to 31 percent, most voters incorrectly assume that their neighbors oppose the cameras.
"In other words, the conventional wisdom that Missourians oppose red light cameras is wrong," says Newhouse. "This means the popularity of red light cameras may be the best-kept secret in Missouri. This 'disconnect' between voter perceptions of others' opinion and their own supportive views is both surprising and unusual in my experience."
The ATS press release does not say how Newhouse framed his poll questions or how much the company paid him for his services. 

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