The red light camera company, Redflex Traffic Systems, is settling a lawsuit with thousands of drivers in Albuquerque, N.M. The drivers claimed Redflex and the company’s collection agency, CreditWatch Services, hassled them non-stop after voters in the city canceled the program in 2011 and the cameras were removed.
Redflex wanted to collect on unpaid fines: $21 million, including late fees, after the program was canceled. The company then hired CreditWatch. According to the $3.5 million class-action settlement, pre-recorded robocalls were sent to the cell phones of approximately 42,000 people to collect red light ticket fines. Attorneys claimed CreditWatch violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.Since Redflex didn’t have phone numbers of alleged violators, attorneys said CreditWatch used a third-party skip-tracing service to find the numbers.
According to the settlement, anyone who received one or more calls on their cell phone from CreditWatch to collect red light ticket fines from August 21, 2010 to January 15, 2016, is eligible for about $200.
Redflex is facing several lawsuits nationwide. One of the biggest battles is a $30 million suit from the City of Chicago, accusing Redflex of bribing city officials to land a huge red light camera contract. There have been felony convictions in that corruption case.
Redflex officials have stated they have long ago stopped trying to collect fines in Albuquerque. "The class action settlement relates to the actions of a subcontractor and is unrelated to photo enforcement or the validity of the citations themselves. The debt was not sold and to our knowledge no one is collecting at this time."