Red Light Camera Law Deemed Unconstitutional

Legal Compliance Resource
December 18, 2013 — 1,417 views  

The red light camera law was enforced so that regulatory and public service bodies could catch drivers who skip red lights. The first city in Missouri that took up the photo enforcement strategy was Arnold City. Though the rule has been very effective in nabbing rash drivers, it has now been deemed as unconstitutional.

It is not the rule itself that has been categorized so, but the photo enforcement law is designed in such that the owner of the car is penalized if they cannot prove that it was not them driving. The attorney of the plaintiff, Ryan Keane, spoke about the recent ruling in the plaintiff’s favor saying that laws based on complete presumptions are unjust, and also unconstitutional.

Drivers to be Punished, not Owners

Additionally, drivers who were fined were given a ticket of about $95, a hefty fine, although it does not show on driving records. 30% of this penalty is granted to American Traffic Solutions. Though the solution to enforce traffic laws was effective, it did not work well because cameras were not installed to photograph the driver along with the vehicle’s number plate. This is the main basis on which American Traffic Solutions lost the case to the plaintiff.

The Missouri Court of Appeals made the ruling on Tuesday, and has suggested that the enforcement be removed even in other municipalities based on the same logic. Punishing the vehicle’s owner as opposed to the driver who was responsible for breaking traffic rules is against the law. The law clearly states that the rules apply to the drivers of the vehicles along with pedestrians, and not the owners of the vehicles.

State Govt. Urges Other Municipalities to do Same

Even the fact that motoring offenses are not added to driver’s licenses is a violation of the state law. Photo enforcement is not a viable option because it cannot put rash drivers off the road. Once the fine is cleared, drivers who are not careful can go back to driving without any hassles since none of the offenses are kept on record.

This is unsafe for the public--Without the fear of getting licenses canceled, rash drivers may continue to drive the way they do. This is a potential threat to the safety and lives of every citizen. The state government urges other municipalities to follow suit in the same aspect.

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