Today's Question: Should red light camera tickets result in points on your record?

Monday, August 24, 2009 | 9:40 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Since the two red light cameras have been installed, violators photographed have only received a warning letter. But starting Sept. 3, red light violations captured by the cameras will result in tickets and a $120 fine, Assistant City Manager Tony St. Romaine said.

However, these tickets will not result in points being added to the violators' state driver's licenses under the Missouri Department of Revenue's current interpretation of existing state law.

"Because of the way the law is written right now, we don't have the authority to cite as violations" tickets resulting from cameras, said Ted Farnen of the Missouri Department of Revenue.

While drivers are assessed a two-point penalty for red light violations when caught by a police officer, the department is unable to assess points for camera-related tickets.

Camera systems, such as Columbia's, that capture the driver's face as well as license plate make it easier to identify the driver, but Farnen was unsure at this time "what the burden of proof a city such as Columbia would have to show the department."

The two cameras are located at Stadium Boulevard and Worley Street and Providence Road and Broadway. The location of another 14 cameras will be decided by the end of the year, St. Romaine said.

Should red light camera tickets result in points on your record?

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Phillip Berrong August 24, 2009 | 2:44 p.m.

I'm not sure if the issue was ever resolved, but the Riverfront Times did an article a while back about how the cameras in St. Louis gave out unenforceable tickets. The courts were prohibited by state law from signing bench warrants or contacting credit agencies to those who refused to pay the ticket. In short, there was no action to take against those who didn't pay, and the newspaper basically recommended people ignore the tickets altogether. Freeman Bosley wrote a bill making the tickets enforceable, but I don't know if it ever passed. Also unresolved was the issue of who pays if the owner of the vehicle wasn't driving. The judge in the traffic court demanded the vehicle owner hand over the name and address of the driver, but that doesn't seem very constitutionally sound. Also, what if the driver doesn't know who was driving? Is it illegal to lend your car to a perfect stranger?
Here's a link to the RFT article on the subject:

(Report Comment)
Phillip Berrong August 24, 2009 | 2:46 p.m.

Furthermore, the camera at Providence and Broadway seems to flashing non-stop, whether or not vehicles are even passing through the intersection. Is our brand new system already broken?

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