Put on the Red Light (Camera)
The city of Arnold (which has graced this forum before for alternate reasons) is now the first municipality in Missouri to face a federal lawsuit regarding the legality of the red-light cameras that it has installed at certain busy intersections. The lawsuit, according to an article in the Post-Dispatch, questions the constitutionality of the cameras based on the presumption of guilt that they impose on the owners of automobiles that are photographed:
The ordinance forces you to come forward and "basically declare your
innocence," says Washington University law school professor Peter Joy, who reviewed the suit at the request of the Post-Dispatch.
"In essence, it sort of compels you to finger your wife or child or someone else you loaned the car to," he said.
Additionally, the plaintiff in the suit has alleged that the city of Arnold has gone as far as committing mail fraud by attempting to extort money from innocent citizens victimized by the cameras.
With red-light cameras spreading as a method of traffic control (the attorney for the plaintiff indicated that he may be interested in expanding the lawsuit to include more of the 20 communities in Missouri and Illinois that use red-light cameras) it will be interesting to track the progress of this case on a federal level. In line with some opinions expressed here before, the plaintiffs are to be commended for attempting to highlight an injustice that Missouri municipalities were presumably planning on expanding until someone called them on it, but it will be interesting to see if their line of reasoning stands up inside the Eagleton.
Either way, it gives me some ammunition with which to complain the next time I get angry at the "No Right on Red" sign at Delmar and Skinker.