EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KTVI)– People driving in and through East St. Louis may soon be in for an unwelcome surprise. The city will be using cameras to measure your speed, then send you a ticket if you’re going too fast.
The cameras are not automated like their cousins attached to so many red lights in the St. Louis area, they are operated by officers, much in the same way the traditional radar gun is utilized. The difference is, they don’t have to chase you down. The ticket will be computer generated and mailed to the owner of the car. That alone is eliciting complaints from drivers.
“It’s just like the cameras on the lights,” Courtney Cruise said. “What if I wasn’t driving my own vehicle? Then what? It’s robbing Peter to pay Paul it looks like.”
Many see the entire operation as a cash grab by the city. The tickets are generated easily and quickly with fines starting at $100 each. That doubles in work and school zones. But police insist this isn’t about dollar signs.
“This is pure for safety and safety only,” East St. Louis Police Chief Michael Floore said. “This is merely to get drivers to slow down in our venue, to get our citizens to slow down and prevent accidents as much as possible.”
Officers on the street see a safety element working in their favor.
“It takes the officer out of harm’s way also,” Captain Bobby Cole said. “If we’re up on a highway or in a safety zone or a school zone, the officer doesn’t have to get out in traffic now.”
There are two of the cameras, and police say they will be using them all over the city, both on surface streets and interstate highways passing through.