Redflex Fighting Release of Records to League City, Texas

League City red light

League City, Texas — Access to detailed information about the effectiveness of the city’s red-light camera program is being challenged by the RedFlex the company that operates the red light cameras in League City, Texas.  Citing copyright law, Redflex Traffic Systems, a Phoenix-based company, has appealed to the state attorney general The Daily News’ request for details about the program, including information about possible gaps in the cameras’ coverage.

The Daily News made a request Jan. 12 to the League City Police Department for the daily reports it received from Redflex of all red light camera citations issued from Oct. 1, 2009, through Jan. 9.  The Daily News requested the same information from League City’s government.  League City forwarded The Daily News’ request to Redflex. In a Feb. 2 letter, Redflex asked the Texas Attorney General’s Office to deny the request.

“The Requesting Party seeks confidential, proprietary, and copyrighted information regarding Redflex and its business operations,” Redflex Associate General Counsel John M. Jacobs wrote. “As a result, such information is properly excepted under the laws of the State of Texas.” Attorneys for League City informed the attorney general’s office they would rely on Redflex’s decision because the city is unsure how to handle the request.  Joseph Larsen, a Houston-based attorney for the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, said copyright and state law do not preclude anybody from viewing the records Redflex is seeking to protect.
“You’re entitled to inspect them even if you can’t get copies of the records,” he said. “This is just typical obstruction you see from cities and vendors into any inquiries about red light camera programs,” Larsen said.

Two city council members said they were concerned about the company’s response to the request.  “I have several concerns with the red light cameras that are being used in League City, and this is indeed one of them,” Councilman Mike Lee said.  “I personally believe that all information related to city property is a public record,” Councilman Mick Phalen said. “Unfortunately, Redflex Systems disagrees and has not released them.”  League City officials were waiting Tuesday for Redflex to provide them with additional records on the city’s red-light camera program. “Redflex informed us that they would supply us with a report by this afternoon. To our knowledge we have not yet received a report from Redflex,” Public Information Officer Kristi Wyatt said.