Sikeston passes on resident's suggestion to use red-light cameras

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

SIKESTON, Mo. -- Despite a resident's suggestion, the city won't be adding automated red-light camera/ticketing systems any time soon.

Mayor Mike Marshall said during the regular Sikeston City Council meeting Monday that a city resident told him she was seeing a lot of motorists running red lights. Marshall said she suggested the city look into putting in an automated red-light camera systems to ticket red-light offenders.

Department of Public Safety director Drew Juden said cities that have put in red-light cameras typically have a third-party vendor install and monitor the system. As the vendor takes a percentage of the fines issued by the system, there is no cost for the city.

Red-light camera systems are, however, "very controversial," Juden said.

The department has had a citywide remote camera surveillance system in place since November 2005 to watch for other crimes but not to ticket motorists for running red lights.

"To date, we have not used and have no intention of using them for that," Juden said.

He said Sikeston hasn't really had many serious accidents at intersections from motorists running red lights.

Juden said if the city started seeing an increase, however, he would suggest taking some action that would be "more beneficial and a lot less controversial" than automated red-light cameras.

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