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Missouri Appeals Court Tosses Red-Light Safety Camera Opponents Strike Three

CREVE COEUR, MO--(Marketwired - October 01, 2013) - In a ruling released this morning, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District once again found the use red-light safety cameras to be legally sound. In a challenge to the Creve Coeur ordinance allowing for the use of red-light safety cameras the court stated, "As we noted in Smith v. City of St. Louis, a red light camera ordinance that reduces the dangerousness of intersections by targeting vehicles that violate traffic regulations is rationally and substantially related to the health, safety, peace, comfort, and general welfare of the public, and is a valid exercise of a city's police power." Adding, "We also note this Court has already determined that the Ordinance bears a rational relationship to public safety."

This is the third in a recent series of Appeals Court rulings supporting both the ordinances and the constitutionality of red-light safety camera programs across the state of Missouri. "The issue of red-light safety camera constitutionality has been upheld time and again by not only the Missouri's appellate courts and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, but also by state and federal courts across the country, including the U.S. Court of Appeals in 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th and DC Circuits," said George Hittner, ATS General Counsel. He added, "This issue has been decided in every way it can be. It's time for plaintiff's lawyers to encourage their clients to abide by the rules of the road instead of fighting losing battles that seek to avoid compliance with road safety."

Among the many notable court rulings that affirm the use of red-light cameras in Missouri, two decisions stand out. One is the 2009 federal ruling that found the city of Arnold's red-light safety camera ordinance to be both legal and constitutional (see Kilper et. al. v. City of Arnold, Missouri, et al., 2009). The other, from the Eastern District Missouri Court of Appeals, upheld the city of Creve Coeur's red-light safety camera program that treated the violation as a civil penalty and issued tickets to vehicle owners. The ruling found the city's ordinance and program fulfilled all constitutional due process requirements (see Nottebrok v. City of Creve Coeur, Missouri, et al., 2011). Along with these significant cases, circuit court judges also struck down five class action lawsuits against red-light cameras in Missouri in 2012.

In Idris v. the City of Chicago, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the city's practice of issuing red-light running citations to vehicle owners instead of vehicle drivers. In the same 2009 decision, the appeals court ruled that cameras did not violate a person's constitutional due process rights because "no one has a fundamental right to run a red light or avoid being seen by a camera on a public street."

A year later, in 2010, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's decision in finding that Akron, Ohio's speed camera program fulfilled the due process protections provided by the Constitution. The court wrote: "As the district court found, the ordinance provides for notice of the citation, an opportunity for a hearing, provision for a record of the hearing decision, and the right to appeal an adverse decision. We agree with the district court that the ordinance and its implementation, as detailed in the stipulations, satisfy due process."

Missouri's first red-light safety camera program started in Arnold in 2005. Currently, more than 500 cities and counties in the United States use these camera programs. Rigorous independent studies show red-light safety cameras effectively reduce dangerous right-angle intersection collisions by changing driver behavior.

About American Traffic Solutions:
ATS is proud to be the market leader in road safety camera installations in North America. ATS has more than 3,000 installed red-light and speed safety cameras serving more than 30 million people. ATS has contracts in nearly 300 communities in 21 states and Washington, D.C., including: St. Louis, Kansas City and more than two dozen other Missouri cities. For more information, please visit: www.atsol.com or www.PlatePass.com. To view video that serves as a chilling reminder of the dangers that red-light runners present to our family and children; visit ATS on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/user/ATSRoadSafety.

Charles Territo
Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Marketing, Communications 
Phone: (480) 443-7000
Email: [email protected]

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