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Missourians Against Red Light Cameras

February 17, 2009 Events/Meetings, Politics/Policy, STL Region, Transportation 52 Comments

This just in from local singer and anti-red light camera activist Jesse Irwin:

The bill that would ban red light cameras in Missouri, SB211, is being ambushed. It was granted a premature, unexpected hearing by the Senate Transportation Committee scheduled for this Wednesday, February 18th at 8am at the capitol in Senate Conference Room 1. We have to keep them from killing the bill before it gets to the senate floor. I need people to do one of three things.

1. Call or email one or all of the senators on the committee. You can find them here:


Let them know you don’t like the cameras and you support the passage of SB211

2. Give me a written statement saying they do not like these cameras, etc. You can fax it to 968-5981 or send it to irwinjes@webster.edu. I  will take it to the capitol for you and enter it into the record

3. Ride to jeff city with me on Wednesday morning to sit in on the hearing.

There is a lot of big money trying to stop us, so we are going to have to be loud and persistent.

I am organizing a group of people who will be driving down to attend the hearing. If anyone is interested in going and would like a ride, they can send me an email at irwinjes@webster.edu or call me at 314-775-5760.

Thanks again,

Jesse Irwin


Now that I’m driving a car again I’m concerned about the cameras.  Not that I might get caught doing something I shouldn’t — that a camera might falsley cite me.


Currently there are "52 comments" on this Article:

  1. Jason says:


    I believe one of the major arguments is that it doesn’t cite the person when it happens. The judicial system relies on being able to tie the person to the crime. The fact that anybody could have been driving your vehicle at the time means that they cannot justly covict you. St. Louis City has a form on the back of the ticket that you are suppoed to fill out if someone else was driving and then they will send THEM the ticket. Thats a load of bull. Who is going to incriminate their friend. What if your car was stolen but person who took it parked it right back in front of your house when you were done and put the keys back where they found them? hah. Anyway- I will write to jeff city. My wife’s car just got one the other day. I grounded it for 2 weeks and told it that it had to use the cheap gas for a month. No premium after a stunt like that!

    Best of luck,


  2. Chris says:

    “Who is going to incriminate their friend?” Answer: all sorts of people. Really, wouldn’t a good friend get the owner of the car off the hook?

  3. john says:

    Because most drivers break speeding and too many ignore intersection crossing laws, these cameras are needed. The first step in fixing these problems is not to hand out driving licenses like candy and to tighten standards. Another important goal is to reduce accidents-injuries and the best way to accomplish this is through lowering speed limits. Unfortunately, higher standards are not preferred in a culture hooked on cars… so red light cameras are the answer. My children witness cars driving through red lights every day in walking to school. Apparently we need more of them as too many drivers ignore their responsibilities.

  4. Luqman says:

    Ever since the spread of red light cameras in the area, I see far, far fewer drivers go on red where red light cameras are present, and still see drivers go on red where cameras are not present.

    These things work.

  5. Jimmy Z says:

    I don’t have a problem with red light cameras, since the law is pretty simple – just STOP when the light is red! It may be a St. Louis tradition to roll through, especially when making right turns, but the people most at risk are pedstrians, especially when the driver’s looking left and the pedestrian is crossing, likely legally, from the right. So do like you (should’ve) learned in Driver’ Ed. – stop, look both ways, then go, and you won’t be getting any nasty surprises in the mail. And as for the vehicle versus the driver, I’m pretty sure points aren’t assessed, only a fine, so it’s no different than a parking ticket – either just pay the fine or track down your buddy/spouse/child and make them pay. It’s called responsibility!

  6. I like the cameras as well. Running a red light is one of the most dangerous things you can do as a driver. Anything to prevent that is a good thing. I’ve been driving in the city for 7 months now and have 3 camera lights during my daily commute and I have not had one problem yet.

    Pretty simple…don’t break the law and it won’t take your picture.

    If my kid or a friend is driving the car and they get their picture taken…that’s great. I won’t let them use my car anymore.

  7. PT says:

    I love these cameras! – Generates needed revenue, sure….but mostly I love them because they keep d-bags from running red-lights. Even the board of aldermen are forced to obey traffic signals now!!
    I would be interested to know the accident stats at the intersections with cameras against what the stats were
    before the cameras.
    Even I was ticketed going thru a red-light on Kingshighway@44. Paid my $100 fine and have not run a red-light since!

    Now, how about city police cars optioned with radar for speeders too??!!

  8. Henry says:

    I support the cameras too. No break the law – no get ticket.

    Pretty simple. People can die when others run red lights. This is a safety issue.

    • Dan says:

      All these people supporting it begs the question.
      What happens when ATS and the city violate safety rules in order to increase violators?
      What if you did not break the law, but the city rigged it to raise revenue.
      See over 90% of the violations are for under 2/10ths of a second. Most redlight accidents resulting in injuries are 3+ seconds…why the 2.8 second discrepency? Wouldnt it be easier and safer to just entend the yellow light by half a second???

      Ahhh but you do not make money that way

  9. Dutchtown Res says:

    If you’re worried about being falsely cited, use your common sense and don’t go through the light on yellow. I appreciate that these cameras can make people think about not speeding through the light. And haven’t numerous articles been written that each photo that “catches” a red light violator is viewed by at least one member of the StLPD to make sure that the law is being broken? All I know is, I used to see people speed right through the light at Grand and 44, and have personally witnessed two separate accidents from running the lights. Now that the cameras are up, I haven’t seen the lack of caution in running the lights. For my own safety, I am grateful.

  10. Dennis says:

    I love the cameras too! Even tho there have been several times when I probably just missed getting caught. But I figure if I ever do get a ticket it will be my own dang fault. The real problem here in St. Louis is there are just too darn many stop lights that are not in sync with each and too many stop signs. The lights not in sync is a product of too many different municipalities.

  11. CarondeletNinja says:

    Let’s put up red light cameras, speed cameras, vehicle registration cameras, jaywalk cameras, cameras to catch litterbugs, and cameras checking for proper turn signal useage. Then we can have vans that drive around with cameras to make sure your grass is cut to the appropriate length, and that your refuse container is in the appropriate place with the lid securely fastened. Then we can have cameras that check what time you actually get to work, versus what time you told the boss you got there. But why stop there? Let’s just outfit everyone with a personal camera that catches every single little infraction that they commit on a daily basis, and at the end of the day, the fines will just be deducted from your bank account.
    Society, stop spending so much time trying to snitch out your fellow man. It’s divisive and does nothing to promote a strong sense of community. A slippery slope is tread with these types of devices, and once they are entrenched, its very easy to imagine them being used for purposes other than originally proposed. Personally, I don’t need big brother watching me or my neighbors. We do just fine on our own.

  12. Dustin Bopp says:

    ^Hasn’t worked so well in London.

  13. Jimmy Z says:

    CN – Red light infractions are a black and white (red and green?) issue and a significant safety concern. Compliance is easy, which makes avoiding getting a love note in the mail easy, so I see little to object to (with the exception of artificially-short yellow cycles). Your other examples delve into areas that are less clear cut and subject to great deal more “interpretation”, and are ones where I’d be much less likely to support photo enforcement. Coming from Colorado, where Denver has multiple vans doing mobile photo enforcement of speed limits, the fallout has been the state legislature capping fines at $40 ($80 in school zones) and eliminating any points, making the revenue-generating side go away and making them true deterents for the actual problem.
    As for the “big brother” aspect of photo enforcement, I don’t see where it’s any different than the proverbial cop hiding behind a bush – if you get “caught”, it’s because you violated one or more laws. Don’t like the laws or the thresholds? Then get them changed – don’t advocate for non-enforcement! Plus, the government isn’t the only entity with “eyes” on us – pretty much every retail business, especially chains, and all banks have multiple cameras watching our every move.
    And, guess what, Town & Country already has a police cruiser equipped with multiple cameras that uses character-recognition software to cross check license plates on vehicles it passes against a list of wanted plates, for everything from parking violations to felonies. Other cities use similar equipment just for parking enforcement. I have mixed feelings about these efforts – it tips the odds more in the cops’ favor, but if you’re not in their databases, you’re not really at risk, except for that wonderful computer conundrum of “garbage in, garbage out” – data entry does come with a predicatable error rate, but that holds true whether it’s a camera, a laptop or a radio accessing the data.

  14. William Kruse says:

    There are more important things to write my representatives in Jeff City and DC about than traffic cameras. My great-grand kids paying off a train load of pork for one thing. After living in a city plagued with red light runners (Miami). I wish they had them at every intersection. Cite the car, who cares who was driving. It’s just like a parking ticket. It’s a civil infraction on the part of the automobile, not a crime on the part of the driver. That takes substantive due process out of play and all is good. Don’t like it, don’t run red lights.

    • Dan says:

       as long as they used long yellow lights and ONLY cited people running red by 1/2 second or more I would be in agreement…but this is not about safety, this is about raising revenue.

  15. Dutchtown Res says:

    CN, nobody’s snitching out their fellow man. The issue is red light cameras and how they catch people breaking the law. Until we can afford to put a cop at every intersection (or would you bitch about that as well?) I’m all for it.

  16. L Frank Baum says:

    I will not be contacting anyone. I want this bill killed.

  17. Jesse Irwin says:

    Generally, people who want these cameras fall into three categories:

    1. People who are concerned about the safety of their children, etc.

    2. People who enjoy seeing other people finally get punished for bad behavior

    3. People who want the money they bring in

    Group #1:

    There are more effective, cheaper and less intrusive ways to make intersections safer, like installing LED lights in the signals, lengthening yellow lights as the speed limit increases and roughening the road surface at intersections to keep people from sliding. I believe in safety, too. I think there are better ways to achieve it than with photo enforcement.

    These cameras have not been proven to reduce accidents or injuries. There are multiple studies that have shown that rear-end accidents have increased after cameras have been installed. See http://www.redlightcameraban.com for a list.

    Group #2:

    How about we use this money to put some real cops out there? A real cop can haul these people to jail where they belong. If a camera catches three people a day, that’s $300 a day. Multiply that by $365 and you get $109,500! That’s two cops! Can a cop write three tickets a day? Sure!

    I want to bust these jerks, too. Wouldn’t you rather have a police officer drag the guy out of his car instead of sending him a ticket in the mail? Wouldn’t you rather he get points against his license? Let’s use human judgment and real handcuffs. More effective + less errors = better law enforcement.

    Group #3:

    These cameras are run by an out-of-state, private company. Municipal governments in Missouri only keep about 60% of the revenue. You’re actually making the state broke. It’s a short-sighted way to pad the budget. How about we keep our money in Missouri and spend it at restaurants and shops that provide jobs?

    -Jesse Irwin

  18. PT says:

    Cars(and the people inside) are better off in front to rear fender-benders than a 40+mph side-swipe.

    Jesse, by all means…FIGHT THE MAN!!….But, when someone from out of state says, I can reduce the risk of personal injury and
    reduce red-light violations…and it will cost you nothing….hell, we’ll even give you 40% of the profits. ….I say, “ummmm, where do I sign?”
    The slippery slope stops when/if this becomes a problem….its not a problem.


  19. Ellisville Res. says:

    Honestly, I just don’t see how cameras make intersections any more safe than intersections without cameras. It certainly is not going to cut down on negligence: if you run a red light because you’re not paying attention, you run a red light. The cameras have no effect, other than fining you later after it’s all too late.
    I just am appalled that my taxes are being used to put these things in when there are a million more important things my taxes can be paying for. What person in their right mind wants to pay to have something put up that is just going to fine you?

  20. john says:

    Once a culture is debauched by an over dependence on private motorized vehicles, there is no stopping on how low our standards and quality of life will become. Red light cameras are a natural result as law enforcement has become unreliable and weak in addressing the myriad of violations, most unreported.
    – –
    It’s too bad Big Brother must grow but it is inevitable when the level of cluelessness rises to the point where cars are given preferential treatment over people. To think that close to two tons of steel, rubber, etc costing over $20,000 is necessary to move the average person who weighs under 200 pounds demonstrates how irrational and inefficient our transportation design has become. Of course this doesn’t include all the costs of the expanded roads, emergency services, and human injury due to accidents and pollution. Of course large roads/highways are needed to connect cities but not neighborhoods or to serve as Main Streets in the urban core. We are paying billions to build this destructive infrastructure but some complain about free enterprise installing enforcement devices?
    – –
    Of course there are better ways, a higher quality of life, more civil discourse, but it doesn’t begin with eliminating red light cameras, it begins with respecting, honoring life and people, not by tearing down homes, destroying neighborhoods so sprawl can prosper.

  21. Jimmy Z says:

    Ellisville – Huh? Whether it’s a camera or a live person, tickets can’t be issued until AFTER you commit the crime. You say “If you run a red light because you’re not paying attention, you run a red light.” Well, guess what, get cited and fined enough (as in multiple times), whether it’s the same day or two weeks later, you might just start “paying attention”, a good thing, especially for the rest of us! And yes, a camera that’s watching 24/7 is more likely to “catch” you than a cop that may only be there an hour or two, once or twice a month, but that’s no reason not to have enforcement. Cameras are only installed in locations with a history of problems/accidents/violations – why invest in installing one where they won’t “pay their way”/catch many violators?! And, no, your taxes are not “being used to put these things in” – the vendor pays the full cost of installation – that’s why they get to keep their “cut” of the action. Finally, yes, “there are a million more important things my taxes can be paying for”. We have limited police resources in the city. They need to be focused on dealing with more violent and invasive crimes, things like carjackings, gangs, murders, assaults and burglaries. Red light cameras just end up being a cost-effective way of dealing with a real problem that’s been ignored for too many years.

  22. William Kruse says:

    Amen, John. We’ve sacrificed a lot of personal liberties at the alter of automobile transportation. The fourth amendment is virtually meaningless if you are in an auto (no reasonable expectation of privacy + easy transportability of evidence). Our neighborhoods have been destroyed, and our tax base splintered. Kids don’t even walk to school, they’re too spread out. I’ll be writing Jeff City all right, but it won’t be about red light cameras. It will be about walkable, bike-able, usable, people friendly roads and urban design.

  23. Jackson says:

    So you’re okay with the government taking away rights from others (smoking ban) but when the government could possibly interfere in your life you cry foul?

    Different issues, but it’s still all about government interference where there should be none…it’s just that now the shoe is on the other foot.

  24. Reginald Pennypacker III says:

    Lengthen yellow lights? How on earth will that have any effect? It will just give these idiots more time to run the red light which always follows.

  25. Nameless says:

    Has anyone ever looked under the bases of those cameras? Well, golly, there’s the wires! Cut away if you would like to disable them.

    Warning: Keep an eye out for other cameras that can see you.

    Disclaimer: I am not responsible for YOUR actions.

  26. John M. says:

    Lengthen, shorten; who cares, just standardize a yellow light. To my knowledge there is no standardization on the length of a yellow light and there are wide differences from one light to another. This seems to be a glaring omission in possible abuses of the red light camera now, and in the years to come. Assuming they remain.

  27. Jimmy Z says:

    The length of the yellow cycle SHOULD be proportional to the speed limit(s) – reaction time and things like that. Adding a couple of seconds can significantly reduce the number of vehicles going through on red (and negate the need for cameras while “solving” the problem). Removing a second or two can significantly increase the number of violators, and that has occurred in other areas as a way to increase the revenues from cameras (although I’m not aware of any allegations of that happening around here).

  28. CarondeletNinja says:

    “And, guess what, Town & Country already has a police cruiser equipped with multiple cameras that uses character-recognition software to cross check license plates on vehicles it passes against a list of wanted plates, for everything from parking violations to felonies”

    Precisely my point, and precisely why, despite my sterling driving and criminal record, I will not set foot inside Town & Country for any reason.

    “CN, nobody’s snitching out their fellow man. The issue is red light cameras and how they catch people breaking the law. Until we can afford to put a cop at every intersection (or would you bitch about that as well?) I’m all for it.”

    Yes, I would. Because those cops would eventually get bored, and find creative ways to skirt and/or take away my civil liberties and personal freedoms, much as the proponents of red light cameras are trying to do. And the whole time they would espouse how its an absolute necessity for my own safety and well being. Personally, I cut the apron strings long ago, and don’t need the government trying to be my personal nanny to make sure I don’t scrape my knees or bang my elbows. If you do, well, then, I pity you and your definition of freedom, sir.

  29. PAY says:

    I was okay with the red light camera’s until one icy morning I slid through an intersection and got ticketed. This is where a police officer could have used common sense judgement, knowing I was only going 25 in a 35, tried to stop for light, hit black ice and slid through light. Now I have to go to court to explain it to the judge and probably get screwed anyway. The court clerk who scheduled my court appearance said weather is not a valid excuse! Insurance companies think it’s a valid excuse! And if it’s not a valis excuse, why do some police reports from accidents state, weather was to blame? Kind of hypocritical if you ask me. It’s all about the money. The court clerk stated that an officer reviewed the footage and found the ticket valid. What she didn’t say, for obvious reasons, is that the officer who reviewed the tape lives in a different state (therefore unaware of the weather conditions) and works for the FOR PROFIT company who runs these cameras for the municipalities. I think there needs to be exceptions and that a police officer employed by the company profitting from these tickets shouldn’t be the one to validate the tickets. It’s like having employees validate their own reimbursement for company expenses.

  30. Dutchtown Res says:

    CN, I’m a woman and I don’t need your pity. And I made no such “definition of freedom.” You’re not swaying me with your paranoiac view of life.

  31. PAY says:

    Okay, so I’m home from the joke of a court. Now I am seriously against these cameras because you don’t have the same rights in court with the red light camera ticket as you do with any other ticket. If you have a ticket other than the red light ticket, you have 3 choices; 1. Plead guilty and pay your fine, 2. plead guilty with an explanation and let the judge use his discretion at your fine, 3. plead not guilty and go to trial. If you have a red light camera ticket, you only get 2 choices, pay the fine or plead not-guilty and go to trial. The court claims they have no discretion over the camera tickets. If the judicial system in the municipality has no discretion over these tickets, then they shouldn’t be giving them out. Otherwise they are violating or at least limiting my rights as a citizen. Now, as of January 2009, this was only possible in Creve Coeur because their socialist government passed their very own municipal ordinance regarding these cameras. If you go to trial, then of course they will find you guilty and then you have to pay court costs too, so they are really making money on you then! So, don’t try to fight it if it’s in Creve Coeur because they have covered their a** and made it so you the citizen are screwed! All other municipalities and the state of Missouri have no laws to address getting people to pay their red light tickets. So until the laws change, you can throw away your tickets in any municipality except Creve Coeur. Personally, I will not buy anything, I mean anything in Creve Coeur after today. It’s my own personal protest that they will not get a penny of my money if they will not allow you to have the same rights with a red light ticket that you do with other tickets in their city! The only thing I will give them as I drive through their socialist city is the spit from my mouth. I think these punk kids who go around hitting people’s mailboxes with baseball bats should do something good for people if they want to destroy property, they should wear all black hide near red light intersections at night, use a paintball gun and pop the red light cameras with them.

  32. Jimmy Z says:

    PAY – while I can appreciate your frustration, just be glad that the “I was only going 25 in a 35, tried to stop for light, hit black ice and slid through light” didn’t include colliding with another vehicle. You didn’t have the right of way, and, obviously, going 25 was still going too fast for conditions. Having to just pay a fine just means you got off lightly.
    There are few true “accidents” in the world of driving. A tree limb falling on your car is an accident. That semi that fell through the street last week was an accident. Hitting a deer at dusk is likely an accident. Failing to observe a traffic control device is not an accident. It’s either inattention or choosing to ignore it outright, for whatever reason. Losing control is no accident, either. A driver has the duty to keep his or her vehicle under control and to operate it safely and within the laws of both the state and physics. Choose to ignore either, and sooner or later, you’ll either end up in a crash or in court . . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3uoVOOlT2s

  33. Lisa Ucity says:

    I just got my first ticket in probably 20+ years from one of those darned things, at the corner of Delmar and Skinker in the Loop.

    Thing is, in looking at the picture (enclosed in the fine notice) and at the online video, the camera is positioned so that it doesn’t “see” the green arrow for the right turn after the light turns red. It only “sees” the red light in the center of the street.

    I took a picture of the red light/green arrow and sent it in with my dispute. I don’t have high hopes – I’m sure I’m going to end up wasting an evening in traffic court and get shafted for $100 plus court costs that I can ill afford.

    Here’s the shame of it – I used to drive down to Skinker if I stopped in the Loop for something else, to see what new stuff was opening or going on in the east end. Now, I loop back and head towards Big Bend to avoid that light – and, unfortunately, those businesses down at that end.

    I wasn’t a fan of the whole idea to begin with, less so after I saw the “if you weren’t driving the car, who was…?” question on the dispute form that reminded me of McCarthy-ish “name names”, and not at all having been stung.


  34. ex-stl says:

    Patterson: I was sort of confused by this post, as a non-car pedestrian (not a judgment choice) I first thought you were playing devil’s advocate.

    I look both ways on one way streets and the next time I get nearly mowed down crossing with the light (the only time that ever happens – I usu. cross mid-block now if I can) yeah I hope there is a frickin’ camera.

    SLP: as you have often been an advocate of ped safety and being in an even more vulnerable position I would think the argument of the freedom of a ton of steel colliding with anything would be outweighed by the general safety of all.

    for others – Big Brother? it’s deeper and already more entrenched than you would care to imagine. but if you’re really worried about privacy, all your recent searches and ISP #’s are easily found and if they want, voice recognition for keywords on the phone.

    “I wasn’t downloading (fill in the blank) that night, somebody else must have” maybe the source isn’t legally useable but that doesn’t mean it isn’t being collected. it’s just more obvious and immediate.

    so in regards to a deterrent for asshat drivers? yes. we’ve already given up more without even knowing it.

  35. ex-stl says:

    sorry I sound like a nut job, and I meant to edit that a little better. but the basic (non-paranoiac) sentiment is the same.

  36. JP says:

    In my opinion, these red light cameras are much like the self checkouts now available at the grocery stores (and everywhere else). They cost jobs. Police officers jobs. I don’t like them.

    I ALWAYS try to avoid the self checkouts at Schnucks. Are they Convenient? Of course, but I can’t justify enabling Schnucks laying off people under the guise of “efficiency” or “automation”. This means I sometimes have to wait longer to check out, but I generally don’t mind. I would prefer people to keep their jobs.

  37. Jimmy Z says:

    Since moving here 5 years ago, I’ve yet to see any police around here looking for people running red lights, while I’ve seen many departments looking for speeders. The only conclusions I can make are a) the police would rather run radar or laser and have something they can prove in court instead of getting into a yes-you-did-no-I-didn’t argument in front of a judge, b) the “large volume” of tickets these cameras generate have increased job security, not decreased it, because one or more cops are spending some or all of their time every day “reviewing the evidence”, and c) in the city, especially, we have plenty of other crime issues that are “more important”. The only time I hear about cops losing their jobs is either for gross misconduct or because their city can’t find enough money in the budget – if anything, since these cameras are increasing revenues, it makes it easier to keep the police departments at full strength.
    As for retail stores and self-service scanners, I’d rather do it myself and help the stores save a little money – it just means lower prices for me, plus it’s usually quicker. I also have a hard time accepting that it requires a relatively-well-paid union worker to work a scanner. It made more sense when there was actual skill involved, in the days before scanners, being able to rapidly and accurately key in the price of every item on the cash register. Avoiding them makes about as much sense as the New Jersey law that prohibits self-service gas pumps. It kinda gets back to the argument that we need a higher minimum wage – some jobs are entry level positions, require few skills and are compensated accordingly. If you don’t like making minimum wage, then work harder, get educated, get promoted or find a better job! We all want to make more money. We live in a global economy. So, the only way to make more money ios to work smarter, faster and more efficiently. Will this require fewer workers? Probably. But it beats the alternative, of not working too hard and not making much money . . .

  38. Jesse Irwin says:

    All other issues aside, the people of this state did not ask for these cameras. They were forced on us by our municipal governments under pressure from lobbyists. This article explains it all.


    I am sad at how eager so many of you are to give up your rights for what you think is security. These were not put here for your safety. Do some research before you get behind these things – once you learn the truth you might change your mind.

  39. Jesse Irwin says:

    Think about this:

    These cameras are supposed to reduce accidnets, right?

    American Traffic Solutions of Arizona is a for-profit company.

    They make money off of tickets that are issued.

    If their product actually worked, they would soon be out of business.

  40. john says:

    I am sad how eager so many members of the public are willing to sacrifice prosperous neighborhoods and livable streets for their laziness in mind and body. Do some research on what makes life better, over dependence on cars or infrastructure that supports civil discourse, cleaner air and the peace of mind that comes from effective and fair law enforcement.
    – –
    Especially disheartening is the willingness of drivers to ignore stop lights, speed limits and endanger the safety of others, especially our children, to save a few seconds. It is unfortunate that local leadership has turned to cameras to improve compliance but it has become necessary as too many drivers behave irresponsibly.
    – –
    It would be great if drivers learned to handle 2-ton vehicles in a manner that would lead to the bankruptcy of these monitoring companies. Perhaps these cameras are only the beginning in addressing how we return our streets back to prioritizing people over cars. The strongest lobbyists can be found working for the auto companies, oil companies and road builders, not for safety engineers or pedestrians.

  41. Jimmy Z says:

    The “best” solution to drivers running red lights is making the yellow phase longer: http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/26/2653.asp Unfortunately, that reduces the number of vehicles that can go through the intersection at peak times. The solution to that problem is making the entire cycle longer – instead of of 3-minute cycle, make it a 4- or 5-minute cycle. You end up with fewer yellow periods in an hour, and you get more vehicles through for every green phase. The big downside is psychological – when you’re used to waiting 2 minutes for “your” turn and it suddenly becomes a 3- or 3½-minute wait, people NOTICE (and the complaints increase). And, around here, with our uncoordinated signal timing, that could be a really BIG issue!

  42. Jesse Irwin says:

    Jimmy z, I agree.

    The cameras are a knee-jerk reaction. Let’s think about how better urban planning can make them unnecessary.

    I’m all for safety, but we can do better than photo enforcement.

  43. Kelly says:

    The camaras are ridiculous.

    I sat at an vacant intersection once for 4 light cycles, and then finally ran the damn thing. Wouldn’t-ya-know-it, I got a $100 “ticket” in the mail soon after.

    I hope they put my hard-earned and preciously scarce money to good use. RIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!

    I got screwed. And I wasn’t even CLOSE to even POSSIBLY hurting someone. Stupid.

    I won’t pay the next one. I heard that if you don’t pay there is nothing they can do about it and they can’t issue a warrant. ??

  44. Abe Nonymous says:

    Often times the length of green lights needs to be extended, too. There are some large intersections (like the one at Gravois Bluffs in Fenton) that are only green long enough for maybe 3 cars to completely cross the intersection, but there are 20 cars waiting to turn. After it turns yellow, they keep going. After it turns red, they keep going. They know the cars stopped at the red-turned-green can’t proceed until the caravan of turners ends, so they just follow the guy in front of them. Meanwhile, the people with the incredibly short green the other direction who were unable to go because of the first yellow and red runners end up only getting a couple cars through and the whole situation repeats itself.

  45. Jimmy Z says:

    But if you really want to worry about “Big Brother”, check out http://www.face-file.com. From Al Lewis in the Denver Post: ‘Rob Wilcox wants you to pull out your cellphone, shoot photos of people you do not know, and text or e-mail them to his startup company, Face File, just in case they turn out to be psycho killers. Should anything happen to you, their likenesses have been captured with a date and time stamp for law enforcement authorities to pursue. “We don’t want people to be crime paparazzi,” Wilcox said. “But if you get into a car accident, take a picture of the license plate of the car that hit you.”‘

  46. ex-stl says:

    Jimmy Z: that is indeed ridiculous and Big Brotherish. But it’s a result of a lack of just good manners. One can enjoy a certain anonymity that urban life offers, but one still has to be congenial.

    jackasses ruin it for everyone

    if I ever take up needlepoint, all the nieces and nephews will get some stupid pillow with that on it.

  47. Robert says:

    I think anyone who blast through an intersection on a red light should be ticketed……but I just didn’t come to a complete stop during a right hand turn! $436.00!!
    Paintball gun these damn cameras!
    Put your car into relatives names, have them put their cars in your name, they won’t be able to tie the car to the driver!

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