Smile! You're on Red-Light Camera!


More than a year behind schedule, red-light cameras commence operation today in the City of St. Louis . For the next month, motorists who run lights at the intersections of Hampton and Wilson avenues and Hampton and Chippewa Street can expect to receive a warning citation in the mail. Following that grace period, traffic scofflaws will be subject to fines.

The cameras along Hampton Avenue are the first of several dozen to be installed and operated by Arizona-based American Traffic Solutions. In December 2005 the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners awarded ATS the contract, but that agreement was thrown out a month later following repeated queries from Riverfront Times as to how the police agency awarded the deal.

This past August a five-person selection committee composed of representatives from Mayor Francis Slay's office, the Board of Aldermen and the city's Comptroller's Office again awarded the contract for the cameras to ATS.

In a statement today, Police Chief Joe Mokwa reports that more than 70 accidents occurred at the two Hampton Avenue intersections in 2005, with many of those crashes resulting from motorists who ran red lights.

-Chad Garrison