Weatherford Democrat

Obituaries

February 27, 2014

Red-light cameras click less as towns get Orwell off roads

The shutters clicked, the grainy photos were sent to the red-light violators and St. Louis raised $4.1 million last year. Now the vehicular version of "Candid Camera" may be ending, as it has in other U.S towns and cities.

A circuit court judge in St. Louis nullified its camera law Feb. 11, two months after a Missouri appeals court judge struck down a similar suburban ordinance. Those rulings have added to the legal and political blowback across the nation against a system whose safety benefits are disputed while its revenue- generating efficiency is not.

"All it is is a money grab," said Joe Brazil, a St. Charles County, Mo., councilman jailed last year for failing to pay a $100 fine in the St. Louis suburb of St. Peters. "It's almost like racketeering. It's not about safety."

Opponents in Missouri, New Jersey and other states are proving that city hall can be defeated with court challenges and political pressure. Even as advocates promote cameras' ability to save lives, the number of communities using them has dropped about 6 percent since 2012 to 509, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in Arlington, Va. Lawmakers in five states, including Ohio and Florida, are considering banning or limiting their use, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

While drivers have long complained about tickets from real- life police officers, those transactions afford the opportunity for a face-to-face exchange, even if it's often unpleasant. The Orwellian nature of traffic cameras, used in 21 states, has provoked charges they are inaccurate, unconstitutional and fueled solely by the desire of municipalities and camera companies to raise money.

Red-light cameras in Florida alone raised $119 million last year, according to a study released Feb. 7 by the legislatures's Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability.

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Obituaries
  • Joyce Mae Brown

    Joyce Mae Brown, 82, died Friday, July 25, 2014.

    July 28, 2014

  • Deanna M. Baker

    GRANBURY — Deanna M. Baker, 39, passed away Sunday, July 27, 2014, in Granbury.

    July 28, 2014

  • W.L. (Bud) Barber W.L. (Bud) Barber

    Winburn Lee Barber, of the Greenwood community, passed from this life on Thursday, July 24, 2014. He was born and died in a Parker County farmhouse – 100 years, four months and 15 days apart.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tylea-Marisol Grace Moore Tylea-Marisol Grace Moore

    WEATHERFORD — Tylea-Marisol Grace Moore, one year old, passed away Monday, July 7, 2014.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bernice Sipe Bernice Sipe

    WEATHERFORD — Bernice Sipe, 87, passed away Friday, July 25, 2014.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Grace E. Jones

    Grace E. Jones, 91, died Monday, July 21, 2014.

    July 23, 2014

  • Katherine Faye Daniel Brown

    BRECKENRIDGE — Katherine Faye Daniel Brown, 93, died Sunday, July 20, 2014, in DeLeon. 

    July 22, 2014

  • Kelley Ann Aylesworth Queen

    Kelley Ann Aylesworth Queen, 54, died of natural causes on July 13, 2014.

    July 22, 2014

  • Maggie Curtis Maggie Curtis

    Maggie Curtis passed away Sunday, July 20, 2014, at the age of 80. 

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Charles M. Linehan Charles M. Linehan

    WEATHERFORD — Charles M. Linehan, 81, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, passed away Sunday, July 20, 2014.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

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