Missouri high court won't hear 3 red light camera cases

Wednesday, February 26, 2014 | 7:25 a.m. CST; updated 12:30 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 26, 2014

ST. LOUIS — The Missouri Supreme Court has decided it will not hear the cases of three cities whose red-light camera laws have been challenged in lower courts.

In the three cases, Missouri appellate courts noted conflicts between the cities' red-light camera ordinances and state law dealing with the issue of penalty points for drivers caught by the cameras.

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday denied transfer requests by the cities of Creve Coeur and Kansas City, and red-light camera vendor American Traffic Solutions Inc. The high court also rejected a request that came from an appeals court ruling involving the city of Florissant, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The state Supreme Court has not yet addressed more recent rulings by the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District in cases involving challenges to the Ellisville and Arnold photo enforcement ordinances.

Florissant Mayor Tom Schneider said his city has already suspended red-light camera enforcement and was monitoring the court rulings. Kansas City and Creve Coeur also have suspended enforcement of their red-light camera ordinances.

Columbia suspended traffic violations caught by red-light cameras in November following the Eastern District's ruling.

"Basically, it means the case will be remanded to Jackson County Circuit Court," said Chris Hernandez, a spokesman for the city of Kansas City. "We can address the issues that were troubling the court of appeals and look forward to showing the circuit court the basis for our ordinance."

ATS spokesman Charles Territo said in a statement that the company is hopeful the Missouri Supreme Court will take up one of the remaining cases.

"We firmly believe Missouri cities should have the right to pass and enforce public safety ordinances that save lives and free up law enforcement to fight crime in other areas," he said.

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