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Friday, March 1, 2024 | Back issues
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Red-Light Camera Law Upheld in Missouri

ST. LOUIS (CN) - A state appeals court upheld a city's red-light camera law, under which motorists are ticketed and fined for being snapped by cameras at intersections.

Mary Nottebrok received a $100 ticket for violating the City of Creve Coeur's red-light ordinance in August 2009.

She challenged the law, claiming it violated due process because it imposes liability on the vehicle owner, not the driver.

She also claimed the law violates Missouri law that requires assessment of points against drivers' licenses for moving violations: Creve Coeur's ordinance does not impose points.

But the Court of Appeals for the Eastern District disagreed.

"Missouri law provides that a municipal ordinance can impose liability on a vehicle owner if another person parks or operates the vehicle in violation of the ordinance," the ruling states.

The court found moot Nottebrok's argument about points assessment, because Creve Coeur's law "indicates that the city intended a violation of the ordinance be classified as a non-moving violation."

Red light camera laws have infuriated motorists, some of whom get tickets and fines for infractions by other people who drove their car. They have repeatedly been challenged in court, and generally upheld.

Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws permitting the red-light cameras, nine states prohibit them and 20 states have no laws on it yet, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Twenty-five states have red-light cameras operating, the GHSA said on its website; in other words, four states appear to be operating the cameras without any laws about it.

Nottebrok's attorney, Bevis Schock, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he plans to appeal.

Creve Coeur is 15 miles west of St. Louis.

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