Possible changes for Columbia's red light cameras

COLUMBIA, Mo. - A change in Columbia's red light camera ordinance will be presented Monday night at the City Council meeting.

If passed, a clear picture of the driver running a red light will no longer be needed to issue a ticket. Tickets would automatically be sent to the registered car owner, even if they are not the driver.

Columbia installed the red light cameras in 2009 at four intersections. However, almost 8,000 people got away with running a red light because the picture of the driver wasn't clear enough.

"We chose to take a more conservative approach and only ticket violators where we actually had a very clear identifiable photo of the driver," said Deputy City Manager Tony St. Romaine.

He went on to say how conservatism means too many drivers are getting away with running red lights, and it's time to do what other communities in Missouri and across the county are doing. This means handing out tickets to car owners whether they are behind the wheel or not.

"We feel that we have much firmer footing at this point to actually change our ordinance to match," said St. Romaine.

If this change is approved, Columbia's standards will match places like Arnold and Florissant in eastern Missouri.

It will also mean more money for the city, approximately $120,000 extra.

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