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red light camera tickets and the neighborhoods that do and don't issue warrants

8:12 PM, Feb 10, 2011   |    comments
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By Jamie Allman, special for NewsChannel 5

St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - If you get a red light camera ticket, do you really have to pay it? Do certain areas of town actually enforce the law while others let you slide?

We spoke with Ann Horner, an attorney with the Traffic Law Center, who says, "Most attorneys believe that you can't issue a warrent for a car and these tickets are issued to your car."

Horner says, rather than contest the ticket, a lot of people simple pay the fine because it's the easy thing to do.

Now, it should be noted that if you get a red light ticket, no points are assessed to your driving record.  It's treated much like a parking ticket.

We asked about those who decline to pay a red light camera ticket... "So far they haven't issued any failures to appear... and they haven't arrested anyone for it," says Horner.

According to our surveys, only about half of red light camera tickets are actually paid. People are either ignorning them, or staring the law right in the eye.

Brian Mueller spent three years fighting his red light camera ticket. "The big issue is that it actually cost a municipality more to try the case successfully with all the evidence they have to present," says Mueller.

So if you wind up fighting the ticket, you're telling me they will give in? Mueller says, "From a cost/benefit standpoint, it would probably cost them more than a hundred bucks to try the case."

So "pay or don't pay" really depends on where you get the ticket. Look, it comes down to this: if you feel you've broken the law or if they have a picture of you right there on the ticket, by all means pay it.  Ethically, what else can you do?  But if you think the ticket is bogus or you got one in a town where they don't enfore the law anyway, at $95 bucks a pop, you can decide yourself.  For me, I'm Just Sayin'... it's only common sense.

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Want to know what manicipalities actually enforce the law?

Olivette - don't have cameras
St. Charles - don't have cameras
Creve Coeur - issues warrants
St. Peters - issues warrants
Wentzville - issue warrants
Arnold - don't issue warrants
Clayton - don't issue warrants
St. Ann - don't issue warrants
City of St. Louis - you get a letter from a law firm saying pay up or they'll ruin your credit

KSDK

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