The Nanny State's potentially life-saving technology strikes back! Take that, civil liberties activists!
Just as study surfaced in Columbia showing red-light cameras netted the city a meager $18,047, and only 15 fewer crashes happened at camera-monitored intersections after they were installed than before, Kansas City's use of the cameras won a major battle in court ... by losing.
FOX 4 reports on attorney Howard Lotven, who was fighting a
Brother issued to his client. Lotven's legal strategy was simple: If his
client was convicted of running a red light, he could appeal and
eventually take the red-light camera issue all the way to the state
But he couldn't even get off the ground. His client's
ticket was dismissed, so there's nothing to appeal. Now he's going to
have find some other way to get the camera law before the high court.
Lotven says the tickets are unconstitutional because they shift
the burden of proof from the state to the accused. As in, if you want to
fight a camera ticket, it's up to you to prove that some jackass was
driving your car through stoplights.
Plus, Lotven says, the eye-in-the-sky tickets are a headache when
multiple people own a car. FOX
"Furthermore, if the owner of the vehicle is two people, a
wife or father and son, they issue initial violation to both drivers,"
said Lotven. "But in the end, whoever's name is first on the title gets
the violation, even though it's owned by more than one person."
Assistant city prosecutor Lowell Gard said in a statement that they
didn't prosecute Lotven's client because of lack of evidence. Did they
not have the friggin' photo? Or, is this the prosecutor's office's new sneaky way to ensure the law never goes to the Supreme Court? Keep issuing tickets, which most people will pay, and just drop the cases when drivers fight them.
Gard also said the argument against the cameras is a total load. In a
statement, he said, "there is no
constitutionally protected liberty or privacy interest associated with
running red lights."
If the fight over red-light cameras continues at this pace, the 2011
Missouri legislative session's debate over bills to outlaw
the cameras is going to end up looking the Ukrainian parliament.