RedFlex Traffic Systems, a vendor of red-light cameras, has been accused of bribery by a former company executive. The former executive, Aaron Rosenberg, said that the company gave bribes and gifts to political officials in 13 states in order to secure contracts.
Rosenberg was also the country’s leading salesmen within the Phoenix, AZ-based company, but was laid off from company. He filed a 13-page counterclaim against the company that indicated the states where the alleged bribery took place. The claim outlined that RedFlex Traffic Systems treated officials to expensive dinners, tickets to professional sporting events, and golf outings.
RedFlex fired Rosenberg from the company after the City of Chicago discontinued its business with the company in relation to a corruption scandal where RedFlex bought trips for the city’s transportation manager. Rosenberg was implicated in the scandal, which led to his termination. But Rosenberg argued that the bribery was by the company’s orders. The company filed a suit against Rosenberg for the alleged misappropriation of company funds.
Now, Rosenberg has implicated similar actions by the company. Rosenberg left specific municipalities unnamed, but indicated that RedFlex bribed officials in California, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Florida, New Jersey, Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia.
New Jersey Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlan called for an investigation into the allegations. He has long opposed red-light traffic cameras and has been suspicious of RedFlex regarding the incident in Chicago, saying there are too many red flags. And he believes there is substance behind Rosenberg’s counterclaim.
“We have an executive of one of the (red-light camera) companies admitting that it was a standard business practice to bribe local officials,” he said. “That’s huge. It’s outrageous.”
Red-light cameras have been the source of much controversy as the arrangement between the camera companies and several municipalities have proven to be a mere money-making scheme. RedFlex had a $100 million contract with Chicago before the scandal broke. But there are other traffic camera companies engaged in large monetary contracts with local governments.
Florida has large contracts with traffic-light camera companies, like American Traffic Solutions (ATS). The annual contract between Florida and American Traffic Solutions is usually worth about $120 million. The City of Aventura, FL pays over $4500 a month for each camera on its intersections. The companies also tend to be very disorganized in ticket processing, and on several occasions the tickets aren’t enforceable by a city or county.
ATS can have a 60-day delay in ticket processing. According to Florida law, if a ticket is received later than 60 days after the violation, the ticket is unenforceable. But it gets sent anyway. But not everyone is familiar with this provision and pay anyway, which flows to the company despite its incompetence.
Last May, the Florida Department of Transportation was outed for decreasing yellow-light intervals in order to generate an increased chance of red-light runners to generate more tickets. This finding outraged many in the state, and studies actually found the change to be life-endangering as longer yellow-light intervals have been found to prevent traffic accidents.
Joshua de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.