St. Louis County Circuit Court Upholds Florissant Ordinance
TEMPE, Ariz. (May 16, 2012) – The St. Louis County Circuit Court has once again upheld the constitutionality of red-light safety camera programs. The court found in favor of American Traffic Solutions (ATS) and the City of Florissant, Missouri and dismissed the lawsuit challenging the city’s ordinance. Circuit Court Judge Tom W. DePriest, Jr. found that the city ordinance is constitutional, consistent with state law and properly enacted.
The City of Florissant’s ordinance presumes that the owner of the vehicle is the driver and therefore in fact the responsible party for the violation. Consistent with many other legal opinions across the country, Judge DePriest’s ruling confirmed that this presumption is in fact functional and constitutional for municipal ordinance violations.
In the Florissant case, plaintiffs filed a class action lawsuit claiming that the city’s ordinance was unconstitutional and in conflict with state law. Consistent with prior rulings by the Missouri Court of Appeals and two Federal District Courts in Missouri, Judge DePriest granted ATS’ and Florissant’s motion to dismiss. Plaintiffs also alleged a new claim, not previously addressed by a Missouri court, that the Florissant ordinance was void because it is “vague.” In dismissing this claim, Judge DePriest held that “A person of ordinary intelligence knows that it is not safe to enter or be in an intersection when a steady red signal appears at the intersection.”
“This ruling aligns with what other state and federal courts have decided that red-light cameras are a constitutional and legal means to enforce traffic laws for the safety of all drivers,” said George Hittner, ATS General Counsel. “Red-light safety camera programs have been proven to improve traffic safety by reducing red-light running which causes crashes, injuries and deaths.”
Judge DePriest’s ruling is significant for Missouri because his ruling follows the precedent of an earlier decision by Missouri’s Eastern District Court of Appeals in Nottebrok v. Creve Coeur, which demonstrates the Nottebrok opinion is binding precedent in this and other similar class actions currently filed in the state.
About American Traffic Solutions:
ATS is proud to be the market leader in road safety camera installations in North America. ATS has more than 3,000 installed red-light and speed safety cameras serving more than 30 million people. ATS is the largest road safety camera program service provider in North America with awards or contracts with nearly 300 local jurisdictions in 21 states and Washington, D.C., including: Kansas City, St. Louis, Fort Worth, Memphis, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Seattle, and more. ATS also offers PlatePass, an automated electronic toll payment service that enables rental vehicle customers to use high-speed, cashless electronic toll lanes. ATS is a privately-owned, U.S. corporation. For more information, please visit: dev.www.atsol.com or www.PlatePass.com. To view video that serves as a chilling reminder of the dangers that red-light runners present to our family and children; visit ATS on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/user/ATSRoadSafety