ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) – Most people who complain about red light cameras are the ones who got caught by red light cameras. And most of them, or at least whoever was driving their car, are probably guilty. The complainers can whine all they want about government intrusion. But, they’re just trying to dodge having to pay a ticket for rolling through a red light. Having said that, it seems that the Missouri courts have gotten it right. Red light cameras are, and should be, illegal.
Here’s why. Anyone getting a red light camera ticket is presumed to be guilty. It’s not like you got a ticket from a police officer and can face your accuser in court. You got a ticket from a robo cam attached to a light pole, and the presumption is, the machine was right and you are wrong. That was the ruling from a Missouri appeals court that ruled red light cameras violate article one section ten of the Missouri constitution. The line that says no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.
A judge in St. Louis City has tossed out the city’s red light camera ordinance by noting that not only does it seem to be unconstitutional, but, that it seems designed not for public safety but for earning money. Specifically, earning a little money for the cities that use the cameras and a whole lot of money for the private for-profit companies that install and run the red light cameras. That would also make red light camera ordinances unconstitutional.
So, red light cameras should be illegal. But, this doesn’t negate the reality, the reality that people who’ve been nailed by the cameras are probably guilty as all get-out. They just don’t want to pay up and get caught. But, in opposing red light cameras, they’re doing the right thing, just for all the wrong reasons.
I’m Charles Jaco and that’s Jacology.