American Traffic Solutions, Inc. is the defendant in a proposed class action lawsuit filed in Florida federal court. The plaintiff, a Palm Beach County resident, claims the traffic camera installation company—who the suit says processes more than one million violations every year—has stolen from consumers “millions upon millions” in unlawful commissions and surcharges disguised as "convenience fees."
The defendant is the exclusive vendor for many Florida municipalities who’ve implemented photo-enforced red light cameras, the lawsuit explains. Importantly, The Mark Wandall Traffic Safety Act, the amendment to the Florida Motor Vehicle Code that allowed for municipalities to operate red-light camera programs, specifically prohibits the payment of commissions to vendors who set up such programs, according to the suit.
The City of North Miami Beach chose American Traffic Services to be its exclusive red-light camera vendor back in 2010, the suit claims. The agreement between the parties was then supposedly amended in August 2013 “to change certain provisions of the photo-enforced red light program within the city.” The complaint says the primary revision specified, in part, that American Traffic Solutions would be “authorized to charge, collect and retain a convenience fee of up to 5% of the total dollar amount of each electronic payment processed.”
According to the lawsuit, the defendant’s convenience fees are illegal under Florida law.
“[American Traffic Solutions] has illegally imposed and collected this 5% surcharge from Florida drivers on almost every single photo-enforced red light violation serviced by the company,” the plaintiff alleges, “amounting to millions upon millions of ill-gotten gains, notwithstanding the fact that [the defendant] is paid for its services by the City of North Miami Beach in the amount of $4,750 per camera, per month.”
The lawsuit looks to cover consumers who were issued a “Notice of Violation by American Traffic Solutions, Inc.” for alleged photo-enforced red-light camera violations and who subsequently paid the $158 civil penalty as well as an additional fee to American Traffic Solutions within the last four years.