Red light cameras: Legal or not?

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - Are red light cameras legal or not? It's a simple question with no easy answer.

We learned Monday it will be a little while longer before a court in St. Louis considers it.

Are they aggravating? Sure. Are they against the law? That depends on who you ask.

Lawyer Bevis Schock represents a couple of women who got tickets and are challenging the legality of the city of St.Louis' ordinance.

And Schock is accusing city lawyers of legal shenanigans

"They did what they did in an attempt to get out of losing," Schock said.

Last week, Schock says lawyers for the city abruptly dropped charges against the women after he says a circuit judge said he was about to suspend red light cameras in the city.

When the city dropped the charges, it argued the whole case was moot.

The judge was to hear arguments on that move Monday, but pushed everything to next month.

A city spokesperson said in a statement the city will follow the law and the city will continue to argue in court that the red light camera program is legal.

Both sides cite other rulings supporting their arguments. Schock says St. Louis is motivated by money. Documents show the city has taken in more than four million dollars in fines so far this year.

"They're so desperate for this money.They cannot imagine the goose that's laying the golden egg ripped out of their hands," Schock said. He also said, "We plan to argue to the court that the court should issue a permanent injunction prohibiting enforcement of these red light camera tickets.

A spokesperson for American Traffic Solutions, the company that provides those cameras, says its research shows the number of violations captured has fallen over the years, suggesting the program works.

A lawyer for the company believes the judge is pushing the date not because of shenanigans, but to give time to a complicated issue.

The hearing now is January 6th. That's when the judge will take up all the legal issues and possibly make a call on the legality of the cameras.


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