Photo radar company sues competitor over contract
Comments | Recommend Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
A Scottsdale firm that lost the bid to provide photo radar cameras to the state is suing the successful competitor, accusing it of falsely advertising its product.
DPS to allow firm to keep photo radar contract
The lawsuit by American Traffic Solutions contends that Redflex Traffic Systems made "material misrepresentations" to state officials about the kind of equipment it intended to use. The result, according to the legal papers filed in U.S. District Court, is that the state awarded the contract to Redflex.
The lawsuit claims Redflex intended to deploy radar units that had not been certified or licensed as required by the Federal Communications Commission. That difference, according to attorney Randy McClanahan, made the Redflex bid "non-responsive," meaning the contract should have been awarded to ATS.
But McClanahan said the facts are not limited to the Arizona contract. He claims Redflex used similar tactics to get contracts in Pinal County, Prescott Valley, Star Valley and Tempe, as well as in seven other states - contracts he said would otherwise have gone to ATS.
A spokeswoman for Redflex, an Australian company with its U.S. headquarters in Phoenix, said her company has no comment on the litigation.
The lawsuit is the latest legal spat over the lucrative state contract which gives Redflex Traffic Systems up to $28.75 out of every $165 paid to the state for motorists caught speeding by any of the 100 fixed and mobile cameras being set up. The contract is believed worth about $20 million a year to Redflex.
ATS filed a protest after learning that Redflex, which had operated two mobile radar vans for the state, was using radar guns without proper FCC certification.
But the Arizona Department of Public Safety refused to void the contract, accepting arguments by a Redflex executive that the failure to obtain the certification was an oversight. DPS Lt. James Warriner also said that lack of certification did not affect the accuracy of the units.
That DPS decision remains on appeal. In the meantime, Redflex has begun operating the first of the photo radar units.