Hyattsville looks to collect a portion of $850k in outstanding red light camera tickets

March 23, 2016

Balitmore Avenue near Hamilton Street. Photo courtesy Chris Currie.

BY REBECCA BENNETT — If you received, but haven’t paid, a red light ticket from the City of Hyattsville, watch out for a future collections notice.  On March 21, the Hyattsville City Council authorized the city to enter an agreement with American Traffic Services (ATS) to collect on delinquent red light camera tickets as old as 2010.

The city has three red light cameras: Northbound Queens Chapel Road at Queensbury Road, eastbound East West Highway at Queens Chapel Road and northbound Baltimore Avenue at Hamilton Street.

According to a city memo, the city has 10,475 open citations with a total of $850,007 in uncollected fines dating back to 2001.  More than 13,000 red light citations have been issued from 2013 to 2015.

The violations before 2010 will be and have been written off, City Administrator Tracey Nicholson said.

There is no upfront cost to the city in allowing ATS to collect on delinquent red light tickets, according to a city memo.  If outstanding fines are collected, the city could retain 70 percent of that revenue.  ATS predicts the City of Hyattsville could recover approximately 28 percent of the collections.

According to ATS, their most robust program uses “skip tracing” — the process of locating a person’s whereabouts — inbound and outbound phone service processing, and multiple letters.

The current vendor only provides a one-time delinquent notice, according to the city administrator.