Speed Trap Hunter Forum: Best Radar Detectors, Laser Jammers, Laser Detectors, Speed Cameras Forum  

Go Back   Speed Trap Hunter Forum: Best Radar Detectors, Laser Jammers, Laser Detectors, Speed Cameras Forum > Speed Trap & Traffic Enforcement > Economics & Politics
Radar Detectors Forum Logon:


Economics & Politics Discussion of the economic and political market driving factors of automated enforcement technology.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 2011-03-14
NMA Reporter NMA Reporter is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: 2008 Feb
Posts: 125
NMA Reporter is on a distinguished road
Exclamation Washington City Files Lawsuit to Block Anti-Camera Referendum

Article: Washington City Files Lawsuit to Block Anti-Camera Referendum

Steve D SmithWenatchee, Washington is suing to stop the public from circulating a petition that would thwart the use of red light cameras and speed cameras in the city of 28,000. In March 2009, Wenatchee officials signed a contract with American Traffic Solutions (ATS), and they claimed this agreement would be "impaired" if voters had a say in whether or not the program should continue, according to the complaint filed last Tuesday in a Chelan County court.

"The city seeks a declaration that the proposed Wenatchee Initiative No. 1 is invalid because it is beyond the scope of the initiative power and violates the Contract Clause of the United States Constitution and the Washington State Constitution," Steve D. Smith, attorney for the city, wrote.

The proposed initiative circulated by BanCams.com, Voters Want More Choices and the Washington chapter of Campaign for Liberty would not nullify the contract between ATS and Wenatchee. Instead, the ballot measure states that the city may not "install or use" automatic ticketing cameras without the prior approval of the voters and a two-thirds vote of the city council. In the event that such approval is given, the cost of a photo ticket would be reduced from the current $124 to an amount of the least expensive parking ticket. Nothing in the initiative prevents Wenatchee from paying ATS the agreed-upon $4800 per intersection monthly fee until the contract's expiration on March 26, 2014. The city's argument contends that the public may have no say whatsoever in the use of cameras.

"Washington state law specifically vests the local legislative authority with the power to enact ordinances governing the local government's use and operation of automated traffic safety camera systems," Smith wrote. "Proposed Wenatchee Initiative No. 1 would improperly interfere with the exercise of a power delegated by state law to a local legislative authority."

The latter sentence appeared verbatim in a filing by a law firm hired by ATS in a case that unsuccessfully attempted to block last year's referendum in Mukilteo where 70 percent of residents imposed limitations on the use of traffic cameras. The judge rejected the arguments of ATS (view judge's order).

The contract between Wenatchee and ATS contains a general force majeure clause nullifying the contract when performance is prevented by "causes beyond [a party's] reasonable control and without its fault or negligence." The document does not, however, contain more specific language found in other contracts that anticipate the possibility of changes in state law prohibiting the use of cameras.

The Chelan County court will be asked to decide whether the initiative would cause an impairment of a contract, or a breach of contract. Federal court precedents have upheld the right of states and other government entities to breach contracts as long as the same damages are paid as would apply if a private party breached the contract.

"The duty to keep a contract at common law means a prediction that you must pay damages if you do not keep it -- and nothing else," wrote Oliver Wendell Holmes in 1897. Source
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!
Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Washington: Four Cities Consider Red Light Camera Referendum NMA Reporter Economics & Politics 0 2011-02-11 00:24
Washington: Traffic Camera Front Group Tries To Block Voter Referendum NMA Reporter Economics & Politics 0 2010-07-28 22:35
Ohio City Asks Supreme Court to Stop Camera Referendum NMA Reporter Economics & Politics 0 2009-10-03 16:09
Ohio City Attempts to Undermine Traffic Camera Referendum NMA Reporter Economics & Politics 0 2009-08-20 16:59
Red Light Camera and Speed Camera CrimeLine NMA Reporter Economics & Politics 0 2009-01-07 22:11


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:49.


©2019 SpeedTrapHunter