Weatherford Democrat

Obituaries

February 27, 2014

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

(Continued)

"The states that have had the courage to use cameras in the face of opposition of a vocal minority are saving lives," he said.

Courage aside, the debate is complicated by conflicting safety claims. In Florida, the legislative study found that while fatal crashes decreased at intersections on state roads with cameras, other collisions increased.

The same study found that camera revenue in 79 jurisdictions soared 215 percent in the past three fiscal years, to $119 million. Individual fines are $158, nearly half of which goes to pay camera vendors, the study said. Critics say the results don't justify the money cities collect from residents or the privacy that is taken away.

"It's a back-door tax increase," said State Sen. Jeff Brandes, a Republican from St. Petersburg and a sponsor of a bill to ban the cameras.

The issue is the way ordinances are enforced, said Charles Territo, spokesman for Tempe, Ariz.-based American Traffic Solutions Inc., which has the camera contract with St. Louis and, formerly, Brick Township.

"There isn't a court yet that has ruled the use of the cameras is illegal," Territo said.

The Missouri Court of Appeals ruled that ordinances are unconstitutional because they presume a vehicle's registered owner was driving the car photographed. The law effectively forces owners to prove they weren't driving when ticketed, the court said.

Opponents also say the claim of protecting traffic safety is undermined because the city doesn't count violations toward the loss of a license. Theoretically, said St. Louis lawyer Ryan Keane, someone could blow through 100 red lights and still be driving. Keane successfully argued against a red-light camera law in the suburb of Arnold.

"On a gut level they are fundamentally abhorrent," he said. "It's a system being abused."

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Obituaries
  • 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

  • Lyndia Faye Bullock Lyndia Faye Bullock

    FORT WORTH — Lyndia Faye Bullock, 66, beloved mom, granny, daughter, sister and friend, passed away Friday, July 18, 2014, at home with her family.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jewel Allene Williams

    Jewel Allene Williams, 98, of Springtown, passed away Friday afternoon, July 18, 2014, in the local hospital. 

    July 19, 2014

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