4/26/2016Missouri House To Give Voters A Say On Red Light Cameras
Missouri House of Representatives gives preliminary approval to statewide ballot measure on banning red light cameras.
The Missouri House of Representatives last week advanced legislation that would turn the controversial question about what to do with red light cameras over to the people of the Show Me State. The ballot measure introduced by state Representative Bryan Spencer (R-Wentzville) advanced on a voice vote last Wednesday. After fiscal review, the bill is scheduled to receive a final vote in the state House.
If passed by the state Senate and signed into law, Spencer's measure would ask voters whether they wish to prohibit cities from making new deals with red light camera or speed camera companies. Jurisdictions that have existing automated ticketing programs would have a year to wind down their contracts and shut the cameras down. As an extra protection, the amended proposal would prohibit the mailing of automated citations.
"Any motorist charged with a traffic violation in this state or any county or municipality of this state shall receive notification, in person, within twenty-four hours of the violation from a law enforcement officer employed by the law enforcement agency issuing the violation," House Bill 1945 states.
The bill excludes parking tickets, open investigations, hit and run cases and "any other situations in which in-person notification is not possible" from the prohibition on mailed traffic tickets. The proposal also explicitly allows the use of automated license plate readers.
A similar bill cleared the Missouri House a year ago by a 140 to 9 vote, but the measure was not taken up in the state Senate. Should the effort make its way through the legislative process this year, a vote on the cameras would take place on November 8.
The ban would have a good shot at securing a majority among voters if the results in St. Charles, Missouri's second largest county, is any indication. Voters there adopted a charter amendment prohibiting automated ticketing machines in 2014. Last November, a court rejected the attempt of the cities of St. Peters, O'Fallon and Lake Saint Louis to nullify the public vote and reinstate their ability to use automated ticketing machines (view ruling).
A copy of the bill is available in a 70k PDF file at the source link below.