- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The city of St. Louis said Wednesday it will refund roughly $5.6 million to motorists who paid red-light camera tickets over the past year and a half, after the Missouri Supreme Court struck down the ordinance governing the cameras in the city.

After Tuesday’s ruling, St. Louis immediately halted the red-light camera program and dismissed pending cases. Officials say they are considering the best way to pay back the money and to mull creating a new red-light camera ordinance that passes legal muster, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1Llma9U ) reported.

Refunds will go only to motorists who paid tickets since Feb. 14, 2014. Anyone who paid a ticket before then was eligible for a class-action settlement amounting to about $20 per ticket.

The state’s high court ruling addressed court challenges to red-light cameras in St. Louis and St. Peters and speeding cameras in Moline Acres. The court identified issues with how those cities were implementing the programs and gave what some consider guidance on how to lawfully and constitutionally use the cameras.

In St. Louis’ case, a majority of Supreme Court judges found the city’s red-light ordinance unconstitutional because it shifted the burden to the defendant to prove another person was operating the vehicle.

“The city’s goal from the outset has been to utilize technology in a way that allows us to make optimal use of police manpower while at the same time safeguarding individuals’ constitutional rights,” Michael Garvin, the city’s deputy counselor, said in a statement. “We will work with the Board of Aldermen to prepare a new ordinance that complies with the Court’s rulings.”

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

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