BELLINGHAM, Wash. -- American Traffic Solutions has filed a lawsuit in Whatcom County Superior Court naming the City of Bellingham and several opponents to red light cameras.
The Arizona-based company is trying to keep an anti-camera initiative off a November ballot. It claims the red light camera issue can not be put to a public vote, and the City of Bellingham is in breach of contract by allowing it to happen.
The initiative would require the city remove any cameras, and it would require voter approval if the city wanted to re-install them. But ATS and the city signed a three-year contract for four red-light cameras at intersections and two speed cameras in school zones.
I don't understand their logic, said Johnny Weaver from the Transportation Safety Coalition. His group gathered the required 3,880 valid signatures to put the issue to a vote.
We have the right to petition our government, its in the state constitution, he said. That is the supreme law of this land, so regardless of anything, some corporation out of Arizona can't take that away from us.
Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike says the city remains neutral on the lawsuit.
A hearing before a judge is scheduled for August 17.
American Traffic Solutions was part of a similar lawsuit in 2010 to try and prevent a public vote on red light cameras in Mukilteo. A Snohomish County judge threw out that lawsuit and voters overwhelmingly rejected the cameras.