DENVER (CBS4)– The company that designed and installed red light cameras at four Denver intersections beginning in 2008 was not properly licensed according to state authorities and has been ordered to “cease and desist” such operations in Colorado. Colorado’s state board of licensure for architects, professional engineers, and professional land surveyors issued the order Aug. 16, ordering Redflex Traffic Systems to “cease and desist the unlicensed practice of engineering.”
According to the order obtained by CBS4, Redflex was never licensed to practice engineering in Colorado, yet “engaged in the unlicensed practice of engineering when (Redflex) provided professional services to the City and County of Denver” by designing and installing red light cameras at four intersections.
What Redflex did, according to the state, “constitutes the unlicensed practice of engineering.”
Redflex has not responded to multiple emails and phone calls from CBS4, but documents obtained by CBS4 show the company has requested a hearing with the state and has written that it “disagrees with the Board’s findings.”
“When I saw they did not use licensed engineers to fit out and build these systems my first thought was, I hate to win on a technicality,” said Denver City Councilman Kevin Flynn, who has repeatedly spoken out against the red light cameras. “Anything that gets us to take a second look at the effectiveness of this program is good.”
Although Redflex installed the cameras and had the initial contract, a different company took over the red light cameras in 2010 and has been operating them ever since.
According to an internal city email from Denver Police Commander Pat Phelan to Flynn dated Aug. 25, the contractor currently overseeing the camera operations has assured city officials that “Redflex pole, conduits, and foundations were reused but validated by our licensed engineer.”
Phelan also wrote that Denver’s City Attorney “is also aware and advising.”
The cameras have generated millions of dollars in ticket revenue since 2008. Anyone caught by the cameras is subject to a $75 ticket.
Denver attorney Danny Foster said the cease and desist order and the accusations of unlicensed engineering will “give a lot of ammunition to people who don’t like these lights.”
However, Foster said all those tickets are still likely valid as there is no city code that specifies whoever installed the cameras had to be an engineer to insure the tickets are valid.
“I don’t think the fact there is a cease and desist order was issued is going to change the validity of these tickets. Going backwards, there’s no practical basis to fight one of these tickets,” Foster said.
The new troubles for Redflex began in February when a man in North Carolina filed an online complaint accusing the company of operating in Colorado without licensed engineers. Now, the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies says it has referred the issue to the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.
Flynn told CBS4 he hopes Denver officials will investigate how Redflex implemented the red light camera system more than a decade ago without proper credentials.
“I would like the city to find out who did the checking, who did the inspecting when these installations were put in and why that was not caught,” Flynn said.