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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Harris County
City of Houston
News Release
Saturday, January 21, 2012

The City of Houston has reached a $4.78 million settlement of the lawsuit filed by American Traffic Solutions (ATS).  The agreement brings to an end the legal fight that began when Houston City Council approved ending Houston’s red light camera program.  The funds to pay the settlement will come from previously collected fines that are in escrow and the approximately $25 million the City is still owed in outstanding red light camera fines issued when the program was still operational.

“I am thankful that traffic violators, not Houston taxpayers, will be paying for this,” said Mayor Annise Parker.  “This is a reasonable settlement and I thank the City legal department for its diligence in getting it done.” 

Under the terms of the agreement, ATS will be paid $2.3 million up front.  This represents the amount ATS would have received had the red light cameras remained on from the date they were initially turned off following the voter initiative in November 2010 to December of 2011.  ATS will also receive another $2.4 million over the next three years.   This additional amount is meant to address the amounts ATS could have received under its contract with the City, based on collection of delinquent red light camera fines.

In exchange for the payments, ATS has agreed to end its legal fight with the City and remove all of its cameras from Houston intersections within 60 days of approval of the settlement by Houston City Council.  The City ordered the cameras turned off and stopped issuing red light camera violations last August.

The settlement is on the  Houston City Council agenda for consideration.



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