Redflex agrees to pay $3.5 million for hounding driversBY DENNIS DOMRZALSKI Up to 42,000 Albuquerque area motorists who were hounded to pay red light camera tickets from camera operator Redflex could be eligible to get $200 for their trouble as part of a $3.5 million settlement Redflex has agreed to in a class action lawsuit here. Redflex agreed to the settlement on March 17, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court. The settlement applies to motorists who received red light camera ticket collection calls from debt collector CreditWatch Services Ltd. on their cell phones between Aug. 21, 2010 and Jan. 15, 2016. Albuquerque residents voted to get rid of Redflex and its cameras in November of 2011. But city officials agreed to let Redflex go after $20 million in revenue by collecting on 89,000 unpaid tickets. Redflex hired CreditWatch to get the money. CreditWatch used automated phone calls to hound people for the money. The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, David Willett, said he got 19 calls from CreditWatch, which he said was a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. While the settlement agreement said people who got collection calls on their cell phones from CreditWatch are eligible for up to $200, the amount is likely to be much lower because the plaintiff's attorney's fees will come out of the $3.5 million. A judge must still decide on whether to accept settlement agreement. If he does, people eligible for the payments will be contacted by postcard with instructions on how to apply for the money. Last week, KRQE News 13 reported that Redflex told its reporter that it was no longer trying to collect on unpaid red light tickets here. Dennis Domrzalski is news editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at email@example.com.
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