Red Light Camera company in trouble?


I got a hot tip tonight from one of my South DaCola foot soldiers;

Mayor Munson is ordered to give a deposition this friday (on a redlight camera case).  People have stopped paying camera tickets, not only in Sioux Falls but around the country.  Rumor has it, the camera company is in bankruptcy.

That sucks. Not.

Helga found this tidbit;

Sioux Falls and Redflex Traffic Systems Inc.

A lawsuit has been filed and is seeking class action status against the city of Sioux Falls, SD and the firm who provides traffic cameras. The lawsuit claims the city’s traffic cameras violate South Dakota state code and are only a moneymaker for the city. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 17,000 motorists who were ticketed based on photos taken by traffic cameras in downtown Sioux Falls. Motorists have paid more than $1.2 million in fines because of the Sioux Falls cameras; about $750,000 of that has gone to Redflex.

Register your Traffic Camera Complaint

If you have suffered damages in this civil rights case, you may qualify for damages or remedies that may be awarded in a possible class action or lawsuit. Please click the link below to submit your complaint to a lawyer for a free evaluation.

I also found this interesting.


#1 Warren Phear on 10.20.09 at 4:26 am

Congratulations l3wis. You have hit on two of my favorite topics today. Credit card predators and this scam red light camera operation.

If people knew from the beginning what was done to our light “timing” this scam would NEVER have gotten off the ground. The city, like ALL other cities that allowed this revenue generator in, KNOW after traffic studies were conducted to “justify” this need, that safety on our streets was sacrificed for revenue. Manipulating the timing of traffic lights is wrong on so many levels.

Should we be surprised? I’d say…NOT.

#2 Ghost of Dude on 10.20.09 at 7:21 am

The best part: Motorists have paid more than $1.2 million in fines because of the Sioux Falls cameras; about $750,000 of that has gone to Redflex.

But it’s all about $afety.

#3 l3wis on 10.20.09 at 7:48 am

There is only one motivator at City Hall. Money.

#4 Beer Jew on 10.20.09 at 9:40 am

Several years ago, the red light cameras were shut off here in the cities. The argument was made that you couldn’t connect the owner of the vehicle to who was actually driving the vehicle at the the time of the incident. The owner was the one who received the ticket in the mail several days later. To this day, the cameras are dark.
1.2 mil divided by .75 mil is approx 65% commission to the Redflex company. How the f… is that making money for the city?

#5 Costner on 10.20.09 at 3:20 pm

Based upon the legal costs to the city for this lawsuit and how long it has been dragging on, I’m not sure they really make any money on the things in the first place.

So much for the money or greed argument.

#6 Ghost of Dude on 10.20.09 at 8:59 pm

So much for the money or greed argument.

They would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for those meddling citizens.

#7 Costner on 10.22.09 at 6:24 am

The city has pulled in $450k over the entire lifetime of the cameras, and then they have to take out costs associated with running them such as staffing levels for people calling to whine about their tickets or follow-up costs when people decide they don’t want to pay the fine.

When you put that into perspective, they have never made huge sums of money from these violations. Now factor in the lawsuit and this is probably getting close to revenue neutral.

So aside from removing the cameras because people don’t like them, what is the alternative? Would you guys feel better if the fine was $45 instead of $85? I doubt it.

Let’s just admit for a second that the fine is the one reason people actually stop at that intersection as opposed to squeezing through a few more cars on every yellow. When redflex starts sending out fines to the owners of cars that didn’t break the law then by all means I’ll have a problem with it, but to date it appears the only vehicles targeted are those that run red lights.

As to the unconstitutionality argument, that would preclude people from writing parking tickets as well since they can’t be tied to a specific owner. In short – thats a lame excuse and I doubt it will get anywhere in court.

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