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Ellisville Kicks Out Red Light Cameras

"There's not going to be a lawsuit coming out of this," Mayor Paul promised
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Ellisville city council members debated the merits and legality of red light cameras on March 6, 2014. (Michael Calhoun/KMOX)

Ellisville city council members debated the merits and legality of red light cameras on March 6, 2014. (Michael Calhoun/KMOX)

calhoun2 Michael Calhoun
A native St. Louisan, Michael Calhoun grew up listening to the Voice...
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ELLISVILLE, Mo. (KMOX) – Council members decided Wednesday night to kill the city’s controversial red light camera program, citing a series of recent court rulings.

Mayor Adam Paul argued that those decisions, which declared the cameras unconstitutional, allow the city to cancel it’s contract with American Traffic Solutions three years early.

KMOX asked him if the attempt to get out of the contract could result in a costly court battle.

“There’s not going to be a lawsuit coming out of this. I can guarantee you that,” he responded.

A.T.S. Vice President Jason Norton, in his presentation to the council, dug up a months-old quote from Paul in which the Mayor said the cameras make roads safer. Paul later told KMOX that he stands by the statement and his rationale for getting rid of the red light cameras has to do with their current legality and his belief that complaints are becoming too time-consuming for city employees.

Norton, meantime, said his company wasn’t necessarily expecting the vote.

“No one ever asked us if we ever had issues. No one’s complained about the program. We’re here all the time visiting with our clients,” he said.

The intersection of Clarkson and Manchester Rds., he argued, was once deemed the second most dangerous intersection in Missouri but the cameras have since cut accidents almost in half.

He also said that if Ellisville wanted to by-pass any legal challenges, they could upgrade to cameras that snap a photo of the driver’s face at the moment he or she runs a red light.

One of the two dissenting councilmen, Matt Pirrello, said he wanted to wait and let the courts settle the matter. An appeal is currently pending before the Supreme Court.

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