EAST ST. LOUIS, Il. (KMOX) – Motorists driving near East St. Louis now risk getting a ticket in the mail from automated speed cameras.
Mayor Alvin Parks maintains that the practice is perfectly legal.
“We’re very satisfied that it’s constitutional, but one thing that at some point we’ll probably get to, but we’re not quite there yet, is really trying to identify who the operator of the car is,” Parks says.
But that’s not the way attorney Gonzalo Fernandez of the firm Devereaux, Stokes, Nolan, Fernandez & Leonard sees it.
“From what I understand about this new ordinance, it clearly conflicts with state law,” he says.
He says time after time appellate courts have said that, and he puts the East St. Louis speed law in a “here we go again” category.
“I think it’s a money grab, that’s what I think it is,” Fernandez says.
He argues that appellate courts have constantly struck down such ordinances, but cities keep trying to increase the bottom line.
“It’s been a tough economy for a number of years,” Fernandez says. “Property values are declining, and when property values go down, tax revenue goes down. They’re trying hard to figure out new ways to make money.”
He says what cities continue to ignore is that they cannot have laws that conflict with state law.
The new system involves a camera truck and a patrol car on the side of the road. Parks says you won’t get pulled over—just a ticket in the mail with fines of $125 or more, depending on your speed.
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