1/2/2009Redflex Pays FCC $22,000 in Illegal Radar Use Settlement
Australian camera vendor pays US government $22,000 to settle federal complaint over use of uncertified radar equipment.
Redflex Traffic Systems last month agreed to pay US taxpayers $22,000 in order to settle a complaint against the Australian firm's illegal use of uncertified radar equipment. The Enforcement Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the move on December 23, a day traditionally used to bury controversial decisions while public attention is turned toward celebrating the Christmas holiday. The settlement was designed to punish Redflex while avoiding the staff time involved in pursuing a formal fine that the company would have immediately challenged in court.
"Redflex agrees that it will make a voluntary contribution to the United States Treasury in the amount of $22,000," the consent decree between the FCC and the Australian camera firm stated. "Redflex waives any and all rights it may have to seek administrative or judicial reconsideration, review, appeal or stay, or to otherwise challenge or contest the validity of this consent decree and the adoption order."
In August, rival camera vendor American Traffic Solutions noticed that Redflex had imported and was using German DRS-3 and British AGD-340 in violation of a federal law (47 USC Section 302a) requiring the devices to be certified by the FCC. The FCC standards are designed to ensure that devices that transmit radio signals do not interfere with television and radio reception or with critical public safety systems such as air traffic control (view ATS complaint). The Redflex response was, in effect, that it had made an honest mistake (view Redflex response). ATS continues to challenge the validity of the contract the Arizona Department of Public Safety entered into with Redflex while the company was legally unable to offer speed camera ticketing services.
The National Motorists Association expressed disappointment at the FCC's failure to pursue the matter fully.
"There was no question that Redflex was using radar speed measuring devices that had not been certified by the FCC. There was also no question that Redflex was clearly in violation of FCC regulations," NMA President Jim Baxter wrote. "If the FCC would have carried out its legitimate responsibilities, charged Redflex with violating federal regulations, regarding certification of radar speed measuring devices, and penalized Redflex accordingly, Redflex would have been competitively disadvantaged in seeking future state and local contracts."
In addition to the $22,000 payment, Redflex must train every employee who uses radar on how to comply with US law and the FCC rules governing radio equipment. Within ninety days, Redflex must provide the FCC with a report on its compliance efforts and follow up with additional reports in twelve and twenty-four months.
View the consent decree in a 100k PDF file at the source link below.