SOURCE: American Traffic Solutions

American Traffic Solutions

December 16, 2015 13:09 ET

Constitutionality of Red-Light Camera Program Affirmed in U.S. Appeals Court

MESA, AZ--(Marketwired - December 16, 2015) - American Traffic Solutions (ATS), the nation's leading road safety camera provider, applauds the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit's recent summary decision upholding the constitutionality of the operation of the red-light safety camera program in Nassau County and rejecting speculative claims that the program wrongly imposes fines and violates substantive due process rights.

"This court's order aligns with earlier rulings from the 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th and 11th U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, and further validates the legality of red-light safety camera programs," said George Hittner, General Counsel, American Traffic Solutions. "As these rulings show, red-light safety camera programs in Nassau County and across the country are legal and constitutional."

Issued on Nov. 18, the ruling addresses a class action lawsuit filed by New York resident Claire Leder, who received a red-light running ticket in Nassau County in 2010 and paid it without dispute, only to file a legal claim in 2014.

In her class action lawsuit, Leder claimed that ATS and Nassau County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency violated her substantive due process rights under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments and were unjustly enriched by improperly shortening the yellow light signals in Nassau County in order to generate revenue.

With only anecdotal evidence to support her claim of mistimed yellow lights, including a local news article that speculated about the light duration and a traffic study conducted in Texas involving Texas traffic lights, the Second Circuit Court found her speculative allegations did not give rise to any substantive due process violation.

The Second Circuit Court also found that Leder was not entitled to reimbursement for her fine, holding that her voluntary payment of the fine when she ran the red light barred any recovery of her $50 fine and $15 in fees. The court relied upon the fact that she did not request a hearing at the Nassau County Traffic and Parking Violations Agency to contest her violation and that her "avowed ignorance of New York law as to yellow-light time does not overcome her voluntary payment of a fine incurred when she ran a red light."

The Second Circuit concluded that Leder's claims were without merit and it affirmed the judgment of Judge Arthur D. Spatt, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, in dismissing the class action complaint against ATS and Nassau County.

ATS was represented by attorneys Robert Friedman and Sara Judge from Burns & Levinson LLP in Boston, Massachusetts. Nassau County was represented by Mark Mulholland from Ruskin Moscou Faltischek P.C. in Uniondale, New York. 

Judge, who argued the case for ATS before the Court of Appeals, said, "We are pleased that the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the meritless class action against ATS and Nassau County. The red light camera program in Nassau County was designed to increase public safety and it gives everyone the opportunity to challenge a red light camera ticket on the merits of the violation. This decision is important as it affirms the constitutionality of ATS's operation of the red light camera program in Nassau County."

Mulholland, the attorney representing Nassau County at the hearing, commented on the ruling by saying, "Nassau County welcomes the ruling in this case and looks forward to the continued operation of its red-light safety camera program for its contribution to public safety improvement efforts."

Hittner added, "It is unfortunate that so much of the court's time was spent addressing this groundless class-action lawsuit. Nevertheless, perhaps this ruling will be enough to encourage drivers to put their efforts toward being safe on the road, and, if they receive a ticket, to take full advantage of the opportunities to review the video and other evidence before deciding to pay the fine or challenge it."

About American Traffic Solutions:

ATS is proud to be the market leader in road safety camera installations in North America. ATS' red-light, speed and school bus stop arm safety cameras serve more than 30 million people. For more information, please visit: www.atsol.com. To view video that serves as a chilling reminder of the dangers that red-light runners present to our family and children; visit ATS on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/user/ATSRoadSafety.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Charles Territo
    Title: Senior Vice President of Communications
    Marketing and Public Affairs 
    Phone: (480) 443-7000
    Email: media@atsol.com