12/4/2018North Carolina Slams ATS For Unlicensed Engineering
North Carolina board finds American Traffic Solutions in violation for failure to use qualified engineers to install red light cameras.
Red light camera provider American Traffic Solutions (ATS, now known as Verra Mobility) was cited Thursday for practicing engineering without a license in North Carolina. After conducting an investigation, the North Carolina Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors concluded that the company's work on public streets setting up red light cameras violated state law.
"At its regular meeting on November 28, 2018 the board concurred with the recommendation of the review committee, which was to place American Traffic Solutions Inc on notice that practicing, or offering to practice, engineering in North Carolina without being properly licensed with the board, is a violation of GS 89C-23," the board's executive director, Andrew L. Ritter, wrote. "The activities include, but are not limited to, producing engineering plans for the installation of red light camera installations and producing survey data for an authoritative purpose (to be relied upon) or to a stated accuracy must be done by a licensed professional land surveyor."
The board made clear that it was ultimately up to a court of law to verify the misconduct and impose sanctions. A similar letter was sent to Redflex Traffic Systems in 2007, putting the Australian company on notice that it had to use qualified engineering subcontractors to do engineering work in the state.
Photo enforcement firms have a long history of flouting the law. The Texas Supreme Court will soon rule on a case involving the failure of Texas cities to conduct properly sealed engineering studies prior to installing red light cameras. Both ATS and Redflex have been sued multiple times, as recently last year, for flouting labor laws. The California Department of Industrial Relations in 2012 concluded that the photo enforcement firms' practices violated state rules (view ruling). In 2016, the Texas engineering board blasted ATS for conducting "engineering and related business affairs in an unprofessional manner." Also in 2016, Arizona's attorney general ruled Redflex and ATS violated state laws governing private investigators (read opinion), which resulted in the cameras briefly being shut down. The Louisiana State Board of Private Investigator Examiners arrived at the same conclusion in 2008, but a judge declined to enforce that decision. In 2009, the Federal Communications Commission fined Redflex $22,000 for its illegal use of uncertified radar equipment. In 2008, the Arizona Secretary of State found that the notary public employed by Redflex falsified documents used to certify speed camera deployments in Lafayette, Louisiana.