Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Speed Cameras Flourish against County Wishes

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Speed Cameras Flourish against County Wishes

Article excerpt

You could hardly blame north St. Louis County drivers for feeling a bit camera shy these days.

A growing number of communities there have deployed speed- enforcement cameras - some of them along major St. Louis County roads.

The issue popped up last week in a letter from the St. Louis County Department of Highways and Traffic, underscoring the county's opposition to "the general use of photo enforced speed zones" on its roads. The letter was triggered by a constituent's complaint, said David Wrone, a spokesman for the county highways and traffic department.

By one count, as many as 10 local municipalities use speed cameras.

The county's position goes something like this: St. Louis County- maintained roads run through communities that have deployed the speed cameras. The county doesn't like them. But many of the cameras are set up strategically so they are just outside the county's right of way.

"We believe such micro-enforcement of posted speed limits results in an exorbitant amount of speed citations being issued," wrote Charles Thien, division manager for highway operations. "As a result, automated speed camera enforcement procedures make lawbreakers out of those who would otherwise be considered safe and prudent drivers."

In response, the county made it clear that there will be no "photo enforcement" warning signs allowed within the right of way, according to Thien's letter sent out on Tuesday.

In the letter, the county asked that the city of Pine Lawn "refrain from further deployment" of speed cameras on Jennings Station Road. Ditto for the village of Hillsdale, which maintains a speed camera on Kienlen Avenue.

In the meantime, expect to see more of the cameras pop up. It's just another reason to observe the posted speed limit as a general rule.

Otherwise, you never know what you will find in your mailbox.

Q. I realize that this is an unusual question, but I've been curious for several years about the patterns that are in the traffic lanes of Highway 40 between Clarkson and I-270. …

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