TRAFFIC CONTROL: Missouri may allow citizens to vote on red-light camera use

Bill was approved in the state House of Representatives; Senate approval is pending the bill is added to the 2016 ballot.

May 04, 2015

The Missouri House of Representatives approved a bill that will allow citizens to vote on the use of red light cameras. House Bill 207, sponsored by State Rep. Paul Curtman, was constructed behind the congressman’s belief that the use of red light cameras should banned in Missouri, erring toward the bet that Missourians will agree. He said there are municipalities in Missouri that have tried to redefine movement caught by a red-light camera as a non-moving violation, a way for the municipalities to continue to collect fines without assigning points to licensed drivers.

Curtman has suggested alternatives to red-light cameras such as speed limit reductions and better signage on the roads.

“There’s a report done from Kansas City in 2012 that demonstrated the monitored traffic lanes had an increase in collisions,” Curtman said. “They attribute that to the fact that people know that there’s a camera, so instead of relying on their best judgment to whether or not they should move through a yellow light, they just hit brakes because now they’re trying to avoid tickets, not trying to avoid getting into accidents.” 

Collision rates have gone up by more than 17%, Curtman said, as a direct result.

The bill faces another vote in the House before moving to the Senate. If approved, the question will be placed on the 2016 ballot.