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Red-light Camera Class Action Settlement Will Get You $8.50. Is it Worth It?

Flickr User Functoruser
Flickr User Functoruser

The cost for American Traffic Solutions to do business is, I would imagine to them, a measly 4.2 million dollars.

This is to settle a class action lawsuit that was brought about due to what ticketed citizens felt were violations given in error due to yellow lights that weren’t timed properly.

So while the lights were supposedly being calibrated to standards, no one got tickets.

However tickets were being issued once the suspension was lifted.
Tickets cost the taxpayer $85 a pop with no points but way too much time out of your day to try and fight them.

According to this:

A red-light camera operator has agreed to pay up to $4.2 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by motorists in 18 towns across the state, including four in South Jersey.

Under a proposed settlement, eligible motorists would receive a minimum of $8.50 per violation, or 10 percent of the traffic fine imposed by local authorities, according to papers filed in federal court Thursday.

(Don’t spend it all in one place!)

Locally, the agreement would cover drivers or registered owners of vehicles ticketed before August 2012 by red-light cameras in Deptford, Glassboro, Gloucester Township and Monroe. The citations carry an $85 fine, with $73.50 going to the municipality.

The cameras’ operator, American Traffic Solutions of Scottsdale, Ariz., would pay for the partial refunds. The municipalities are not contributing to the settlement.

ATS admits no liability under the proposed settlement, but says it is offering the payment in order to avoid “protracted and expensive litigation.”

(Hence, the cost of doing business!)

The agreement is pending before U.S. District Judge Peter Sheridan in Trenton.
“We have every hope and expectation that the judge will approve the settlement,” Charles Territo, an ATS spokesman, said Friday.

The state Department of Transportation in June told 21 towns to stop writing tickets based on red-light cameras due to a concern over the timing of yellow lights. The DOT lifted that suspension in July, clearing the way for thousands of motorists to receive delayed summonses.

The class-action lawsuit alleged the cameras had been operated illegally since the program began in December 2009, because townships failed to conduct required inspections. Territo noted ATS had no role in timing the traffic lights, but only operated the camera system.

“We were brought into this as the vendor,” he said, noting motorists will share in funds that remain after the payment of legal fees and operating costs.

Ahhh, but event though they say all they did was operate the camera system, they did stand to make money due to the improper timing of the lights.

As I said, the cost of doing business.

But as a result…the motorist getting the tickets after being a part of the class action lawsuit gets a whopping $8.50.

Is an $8.50 settlement worth the time to collect as a result of the class action lawsuit brought against ATS?

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