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Issue: 1236 Date: 5/1/2014
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St. Charles County Council To Consider Red Light Camera Ban

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        Voters in St. Charles County could decide this August whether to ban red light cameras on their roads.

        District 2 Council Member Joe Brazil (R-Defiance) is expected on Monday to propose amending the county's charter. If approved by the council, the proposal would appear on the ballot Aug. 5.

        "Since we are a charter county and we've had the ability to do this, we're just going to go ahead and do it," he said.

        St. Peters is currently the only municipality in the county that employs the controversial cameras, which are set up at seven intersections.

        Supporters often say they improve traffic safety, but Brazil has argued the opposite is true, at least in St. Charles County.

        "I ran the statistics from two years prior to all the red light cameras in St. Peters to two years after. There's been a 30 percent increase in accidents and a 30 percent increase in injuries after the red light cameras were installed," he said.

        "So the safety issue is an invalid argument. That's not true."

        Recent decisions by Missouri circuit courts have ruled the cameras violate the state constitution or are invalid because they conflate the offending driver of a vehicle with its owner.

        The charter amendment could also include a ban on speed enforcement cameras, though none are in use in the county, said Brazil.

        "Hopefully the state follows suit. Some municipalities benefit financially from these cameras. It's just a money grab ... and everyone pretty much knows that."

        Brazil said he believes his proposal has the votes it needs in the council to go before voters this summer.

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