In its efforts to keep the revenue flowing the City of Sugar Land is deceiving the driving public. They don’t want you to know that red light camera fines are virtually voluntary. I have filed an open records request (ORR) as follows:
“Regarding red light camera (RLC) tickets please provide answers to the following three questions:
1. Regarding unpaid RLC fines in the December 7 edition of the Fort Bend Star Doug Adolph stated that Sugar Land does not participate in the registration hold process. Why is this threat still being made by American Traffic Solutions in the notices mailed to offending vehicle owners?
2. How many lawsuits have been filed for unpaid RLC fines?
3. What is the least number of unpaid violations that triggered such a lawsuit against a vehicle owner?”
It must be pointed out that contrary to the city’s spokesman no collection agency is employed by either the city or the RLC contractor to demand fine payment. The contractor only mails out two such demands after the initial notice of each violation. The demand falsely threatens to deny vehicle registration for non-payment. A lawsuit is also threatened.
A previous ORR disclosed that five unpaid fines by one vehicle did not trigger a lawsuit. Also, the Texas Transportation Code prohibits the reporting of non-payment of RLC fines to credit agencies.
There are three reasons why refusal to pay a RLC fine may be justified:
• doubt about who was driving,
• the violation was for less than one second into the red,
• the violation was for a rolling stop on a right turn.
Any public official including a RLC ticket hearing officer who denies that RLC fines are virtually voluntary is either grossly misinformed or is deliberately engaging in extortion.
H. Van Der Grinten