KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Missouri Supreme Court will decide sometime in the next two weeks whether to hear the case concerning red light cameras in Kansas City, Mo.
If the court doesn't take the case, red light cameras will remain unconstitutional and the city will have to take all 29 of them down. If that happens, 22,000 drivers with outstanding red light tickets will not have to pay them. But if the court does take the case, red light cameras will remain in legal limbo until the justices make a decision.
The whole controversy centers around the severity of the crime. State law says running a red light is a moving violation and points should be added to a driver's driving record. The City of Kansas City calls it a non-moving violation, which does not require points to be added to one's driving record. In Missouri, if a driver receives four or more points, they could potentially lose their license.
To prove it was a moving violation, the city would need to add a camera on the other side of the intersection and snap a shot of the driver, then prove the identity of the driver in court.
"They need to prove who was driving, or they have to stop the red light cameras altogether," Howard Lotven, attorney, said.
Lotven has handled thousands of red light camera cases in Kansas City. He recommends drivers who have been ticketed to wait on paying the $100 fine since they won't be reimbursed if the law is shot down.
"What it means is the city is going to have to dismiss all the tickets that the court says are unconstitutional and they can’t prosecute people under an unconstitutional law," Lotven said.
According to the company that monitors the cameras, red light infractions went up 50 percent last month because drivers know they will not be ticketed.
Howard Lotven, Red Light Case Attorney
21:08 If they get notices from the city they should not pay these tickets and consult with an attorney about the status of the law because right now cities should not be prosecuting these tickets.