12/15/2014Missouri: Red Light Cameras Could Be Put To A Statewide Vote
Missouri lawmaker introduces bill to place red light cameras and speed cameras to a statewide vote.
The Missouri General Assembly has never approved the use of red light cameras or speed cameras, leaving the state Supreme Court to decide whether the laws of the Show Me state can be interpreted in a way that allows automated ticketing. State Representative Paul Curtman wants to take that decision out of the hands of unelected judges and place it in the hands of voters.
Curtman on Friday pre-filed House Bill 207 which, if adopted by his fellow lawmakers next year, would put a question on outlawing speed cameras and red light cameras on the August 2, 2016 primary election ballot, alongside the Democratic and Republican hopefuls seeking their party's nomination to replace outgoing governor Jay Nixon (D). This would be the first statewide vote on traffic cameras, enacting a sweeping law that would require the immediate removal of all automated ticketing machines.
"No county, city, town, village, municipality, state agency, or other political subdivision of this state shall enact, adopt, or enforce any law, ordinance, regulation, order, or other provision that authorizes the use of an automated traffic enforcement system or systems to establish evidence that a motor vehicle or its operator is not in compliance with traffic signals, traffic speeds, or other traffic laws, ordinances, rules, or regulations on any public street, road or highway within this state, or to impose or collect any civil or criminal fine, fee, or penalty for any such noncompliance," House Bill 207 states.
Curtman serves as chairman of the House Committee on Downsizing State Government. He sees his bill as a way to curb the appetites of local government officials.
"Studies have consistently shown that the presence of red light cameras has done little if anything to improve compliance with traffic laws and in most cases has actually contributed to an increase in traffic collisions," Curtman said in a prepared statement. "What's worse, municipal leaders have created ordinances that classify a movement caught by a red light camera as a non-moving violation, that way they can collect a fee without assigning points. If the same offense was observed by an officer, then there would likely be a fee and points assigned, which is a clear contradiction to the fundamental concepts of due process of the law."
Traffic cameras have not performed well at the ballot box, losing more than nine out of ten public votes -- often by wide margins (view list of votes).
A copy of the proposal is available in a 60k PDF file at the source link below.