Ocean Springs no longer issuing tickets by traffic camera monitors
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - Ocean Springs is getting rid of a controversial traffic camera ticketing system.
The cameras were supposed to give tickets to drivers without car insurance, but several people who were following the rules of the road found themselves fighting bills.
Imagine coming home, opening a letter, and finding out you owe hundreds of dollars for an insurance citation you don’t even deserve.
That has happened to dozens of drivers in Ocean Springs.
Many are fighting back to avoid paying the balances. The controversy started soon after the installation of the cameras.
“I’m glad they got rid of it. I think that it’s not right,” said Brad Fowler, an Ocean Springs resident.
The all-seeing devices captured snapshots of car license plates, ran the tag, and prompted you to pay big bucks if you didn’t have car insurance.
“I think the city oughta use their money in better ways than wasting it on that, “ Fowler said.
Fowler and his wife Suzanne are glad to say good riddance to the program.
Mayor Kenny Holloway said the decision to end the agreement with Securix Systems comes after the city received multiple complaints. Some people even threatened legal action.
“There’s some pending litigation. The city is not named in the litigation, but we wanted to see how they unfolded before we went any further with the program, so we opted back in early April,” Holloway said.
As of May 12, the city has collected $450,000.
Since the installation, WLOX has spoken with dozens of citizens battling fines.
Holloway admits there was a flaw with the license-plate readers.
“Not everybody that received one of those citations were uninsured motorists,” Holloway said.
Those who did have insurance could show proof to cancel the payment.
“You’re a licensed driver and you sit there and go through the correct laws on having your cars on the roads, legal on the road, it really is a big hassle,” Suzanne Fowler said.
There was one pro of having the traffic cameras.
“Well, we saw a lot of people getting insurance. I think that was the intent of the board when the program was enacted. It was something that would help with insurance rates, would help people get insurance and drive down their premiums,” Holloway said.
If you got a ticket before the cancellation, you still have to pay it or go to court.
There’s a 90-day clause period following the program termination. Less than 45 days remain.
The program will be completely over on July 1.
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