House Bill 1557 is being pushed by the Red Light Camera industry in an attempt to keep the money machine rolling for the out-of-state vendors and the money grab by some local municipalities going. The New Wentzvillian is carefully watching this legislation and will let the public know which local legislators stood with the people and which stood with the special interests pushing this bill.
Following reversals in court, the lobbyists for Red Light Cameras went to work on a bill to try to satisfy the court's objections that the municipalities using Red Light Cameras weren't assessing points on a driver's record the same as when someone was stopped by a uniformed officer, effectively nullifying the ability of those cities to collect the fines.
This special interest piece of legislation would say that points would not be assessed on Red Light Camera violations. This strips away any argument that Red Light Cameras are for safety and exposes that they are just a way for the communities where they are to make money at the expense of the driving public. State Representative Dave Hinson, the sponsor of this break for the Red Light Camera industry, which primarily affects urban areas, represents the 119th District, a mostly rural district centered on St. Clair in Franklin County.
On May 1st it was placed on the informal Senate calendar, meaning that the bill could be taken up at any time for a vote in that body, having already passed the House. The President Pro Tem of the Senate, State Senator Tom Dempsey (R-Dist.23), is our only representation in the Missouri Senate following the resignation of State Senator Scott Rupp to accept an appointment from the Governor.
|Senator Dempsey (R)|
We met with a representative of Senator Dempsey's office recently who was cordial if somewhat noncommittal on what the Senator would do. Previously Senator Dempsey has expressed his opposition to Red Light Cameras and we hope that he will use his considerable influence as President Pro Tem of the State Senate to oppose this special interest legislation.
The Red Light Camera vendor (Redflex) for St. Peters is under Federal Indictment for fraud, corruption, and bribery and is under investigation in 13 states. The City of Wentzville, under the leadership of Mayor Nick Guccione, has rejected Red Light Cameras. St. Peters is currently the only city operating them in the county. County Councilman Joe Brazil is sponsoring a Charter Amendment that would ban Red Light Cameras throughout the county. The measure will be heard at the County Council meeting on Monday May 12th at 7:00 at 100 North third Street in St. Charles. The New Wentzvillian will be there to cover the meeting and let you know how our County Council members vote.
As an attorney and formal municipal judge, I have been fighting Red Light Cameras from the beginning as being an assault on civil liberties, privacy, dangerous, and a money grab by politicians. Red Light Cameras have proven to be counter-productive to safety as the rate of accidents and injuries have increased over 30% in St. Peters at the intersections where they are installed according to the St. Peters Police Department's own statistics.