ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Several area church leaders are banding together in a new effort to have speed enforcement cameras removed from highways in St. Louis County.
“The travesty is that the cameras have been placed, by and large, in north St. Louis County,” said the Reverend B.T. Rice with New Horizon Christian Church, who’s helping to spearhead the campaign. “That’s affecting citizens who can least afford these tickets or who can appeal and attest them.”
The Reverend Sammy Jones with Mt. Zion Baptist Church believes the placement of the cameras in certain communities was no accident, nor based on any traffic statistics.
“It bothers us that when they began putting these cameras in place, the first thing they do is find areas that are predominantly African-American and they place them there,” Rev. Jones explained during a mid-morning press conference Tuesday at Shalom Church City of Peace in Florissant. “And we think that is wholly unfair.”
The ministers’ group has sent a letter to St. Louis County Council chairman Mike O’Mara, asking him to include this on the agenda for the council’s next meeting, with the ultimate goal being to place the issue of speed cameras on a county-wide ballot in the near future.
Group leaders said they’ve not heard back yet from O’Mara.
“We believe these speed cameras are nothing more than money grabs to pad the pockets of some municipalities that are under-funded or mismanaged,” Rev. B.T. Rice explained. “As concerned clergy we believe these speed trap cameras should be discontinued immediately. Residents…have the right to vote whether or not they should continue.”