UPDATE: It looks like American Traffic Solutions got its ass handed to it in court on Wednesday.

See the judge's eviscerating markup on ATS' preliminary-injunction


American Traffic Solutions, Tim Eyman's Favorite Red-Light Camera Company, Sues to Keep Camera-Blocking Bill Off Another Ballot (UPDATE)

UPDATE: It looks like American Traffic Solutions got its ass handed to it in court on Wednesday.

See the judge's eviscerating markup on ATS' preliminary-injunction documents, plus comments from an ATS spokesperson and Tim Eyman, after the jump.

A contract between a company and a city outweighs the democratic process.

Or so say lawyers for a company with a vested interest in stopping said democratic process.

See update at the bottom of the page.

American Traffic Solutions--an Arizona-based, Goldman Sachs-funded company that makes red-light cameras that law-enforcement agencies use to catch and fine motorists who run red lights--has sued the city of Bellingham for allowing an ordinance to be put on the November ballot that could eliminate red-light cameras in the city.

That's the same American Traffic Solutions that initiative wet nurse Tim Eyman has made his personal mission to destroy.

Anyhow, ATI claims that because it has a contract with the city of Bellingham to provide it with cameras, passing an ordinance banning those cameras would break the contract and therefore be illegal.

KGMI reports:

Charles Territo, spokesperson for American Traffic Solutions, says the city signed a contract with the company, and they expect it to be honored. He says red-light cameras have proven to save lives.

"And in communities throughout the State of Washington, they've been an effective resource for law enforcement to use to reduce red light running," he said,

"And we're sure that once implemented in Bellingham, they will do the same."

Hmmm. This song is familiar.

Oh, right, American Traffic Solutions is the same company that tried to sue Mukilteo for the same kind of camera-blocking ordinance.

That was until a judge threw out the lawsuit and the voters threw out the cameras.

UPDATE: In court on Wednesday, Whatcom County Superior Court Judge Steven Mura heard arguments from ATS on why a preliminary injunction against the red-light-camera-ordinance vote should be issued.

Mura not only tossed the injunction request, he attacked the general claims of ATS as well, writing that the company "has not demonstrated that it will suffer immediate and irreparable injury if the temporary restraining order is not granted."

"Immediate and irreparable injury" is what ATS is arguing will happen to it should a vote proceed, after all. So to see that basis attacked here certainly doesn't bode well for the future hearing.

ATS spokesman Charles Territo, meanwhile, brushes off the outcome, saying the real fireworks will happen on Aug. 17, when "the merits of the case will be heard."

"It's disingenuous at best to claim that the decision today had anything to do with the merits of the case at hand," says Territo. "I would also add that what's been lost here is the role that red-light-safety cameras play in making roads safer. The goal of this program has been to enhance road safety. It's unfortunate that Mr. Eyman and other opponents of this initiative refuse to accept that."

As for Eyman, he was happy to claim a victory on Wednesday. He says it's laughable that ATS is disregarding the dress down it received in court. "They shot their wad in the brief," Eyman says. "They weren't holding back and now they must show that there's new info that shows they are harmed [by a vote on an anti-red-light-camera ordinance] when they come to court the next time. To see them bitch-slapped was a delicious victory."

Here's the judge's ruling. Note the handwritten smackdown.

ATS Lawsuit

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