SeMo Lawmaker Calling for Ban on Traffic Light-Mounted Cameras

DECEMBER 27, 2005 - Posted at 4:38 p.m. CST

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO - A lawmaker from southeast Missouri wants to ban police cameras at intersections aimed at catching red-light violators.

Some communities now place cameras atop stop lights.  Violators receive citations in the mail.  Arnold, Florissant and Springfield all use the cameras to try and curb the growing problem of red-light runners.

But if state Senator Jason Crowell (R-Cape Girardeau) succeeds in passing a bill he has proposed for the 2006 session, those cameras would have to come down.

Crowell cites several arguments against the cameras.  Among them: Too much intrusion by the government, and the fact that the car owner is fined, even if he or she isn't the driver.  Crowell also said some are concerned over a funding arrangement that gives the companies installing cameras a share of the fines.

Those supporting the cameras, including Cape Girardeau Police Lieutenant John Davis, believe the watchful automatic eyes make all motorists safer.  They see no difference between using technology to watch an intersection and a live police officer posted at the same spot.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)