© 2022 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

New Court Ruling Threatens Kansas City Red-Light Cameras

Just as city attorneys thought they had come up with changes to save Kansas City's traffic-cam ordinance from one court decision, another court rendered the changes useless.

As he withdrew the revised ordinance, Councilman John Sharp expressed frustration. “It's been very difficult for us to follow court direction when we're getting different court directions in a very brief period of time," he commented.

Sharp hopes the state Supreme Court will reconcile the two appeals court rulings in a way that will allow the cameras to be turned back on. But some, including his colleague Ed Ford, say unless that happens, it could spell the end for red-light-cameras in Missouri.

Tuesday's ruling says running a red light is a moving violation, a criminal offense, and requires penalty points on somebody's drivers license, and because it is that kind of offense, if an ordinance assesses blame without proof of who was driving it is unconstitutional. 

The case was sent back to the Jackson County court that originally dismissed it.  If it does not go to appeal, the Jackson County court will decide whether the city owes restitution for tickets already issued.

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and powerful storytelling.
Your donation helps make non-profit journalism available for everyone.