Redflex and ATS Operating in Arizona Without a License!

After some initial investigation, has concluded that Redflex and ATS are operating in Arizona without a Private Investigator’s License. If this is validated by Arizona officials, it could mean that every ticket issued is to be thrown out and refunds for all tickets issued to date should be issued (whether or not that would actually happen is another issue). Here are the laws and what we’ve determined:

We were unable to find any entries for American Traffic Solutions (ATS) or Redflex at the state licensing website.

ARS 32-2401.16

16. “Private investigator” means a person other than an insurance adjuster or an on-duty peace officer as defined in section 1-215 who, for any consideration, engages in business or accepts employment to:

(b) Secure evidence to be used before investigating committees or boards of award or arbitration or in the trial of civil or criminal cases and the preparation therefor.

There are licensing exemptions, but it does not appear that Redflex or ATS fit any of the criteria defined here (too long to list): ARS 32-2409

All ATS and Redflex employees working to procure or process such evidence are guilty of class 1 Misdemeanors:


A. A person shall not act or attempt to act as a private investigator or represent that the person is a private investigator unless the person is registered as a private investigator pursuant to this chapter and is acting within the scope of the person’s employment for an agency that is licensed pursuant to article 2 of this chapter.

B. A person who knowingly violates this section is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.

A complaint to licensing division resulted in a phone call during which the following defense by Detective Diaz was asserted:

Det. Diaz claims that a license isn’t needed because DPS is authorized by ARS 41-1722 to contract with vendors for photo enforcement. We agree that DPS is authorized to enter into contracts with vendors; however, maintains that DPS must hire a licensed vendor. We noted that the statute does not specify a vendor, so it must be expected that whichever vendor was chosen as a result of the law must be legal to operate in the state. For example, if a statute required DPS to hire a lawyer or a contractor, they would have to be properly licensed. A photo enforcement vendor should be no different and must be legal (licensed) in order to be considered for such contracts. Additionally, the issue is not just with regard to the DPS-Redflex contract – it affects all of Redflex and ATS’s operations in the state of Arizona (and any other companies that may be operating here).

The Redflex-DPS contract page 28 section 2 (Scope of Work) explicitly contracts for duties which clearly are those of a private investigator:

2. Scope of Work: The contracted firm shall provide all equipment, hardware, software, personnel and services (inclusive of any installation) required to provide:

2.1. Identification, through photograph, video and calibrated equipment/software systems, of motor vehicles and drivers found violating Arizona traffic laws as specified in S.O.W. section 3. Mobile Systems (via mobile Van/SUV platforms) and Fixed Systems shall function accurately 24 hours per day 7 days per week in all weather conditions (mandatory) as specified in S.O.W. section 3.2.5;

2.3 Court testimony services as specified in S.O.W. section 9;

One last argument may be made that Redflex employees are exempt because they may be considered peace officers and thus exempt from such requirements. We researched the laws regarding peace officers and found the following statutes:

ARS 28-369:

A. The director and officers, agents and employees of the department or local or state law enforcement agencies the director designates are peace officers. The director may designate:

1. Regular peace officers with like authority of other peace officers of this state or cities and towns of this state.

2. Specialty peace officers whose powers are limited to the enforcement of motor vehicle laws and rules.

Subsections B and C specify that regular peace officers must meet certain requirements including training. Redflex and ATS employees are most assuredly NOT regular peace officers.

Are Redflex and ATS employees specialty peace officers then? Most certainly, No! #2 specifies that peace officer powers are limited to the enforcement of motor vehicle laws and rules. But Redflex and ATS do not perform any law or rule enforcement! They merely take pictures, collect data, and then turn that information over to the DPS or a police officer to turn into a citation. Redflex and ATS cannot issue citations! Therefor, they are not enforcing any laws.  They are no different than celebrity paparazzi except they turn their photos into law enforcement rather than a tabloid!

Clearly, unless there is some other exemption that Redflex falls under, I do not see any reason for Redflex or ATS to be exempt from PI licensing requirements. DPS cannot determine who needs to be licensed and who doesn’t need to be licensed – that is determined by statute.  The exemption statute is long and specific. I do not see how or why ATS and Redflex should not be included in the exemption statute if they were intended to be exempt from the requirement.

If nothing else, for all of those who have received photo radar tickets, I believe that it would be a valid defense that the ticket should be dismissed because the evidence was obtained illegally.

What does this mean if I am correct? I believe that all tickets issued using evidence that was collected illegally should be thrown out. I believe that all current Redflex and ATS employees whose jobs are to perform the duties of private investigation shall be cited with the misdemeanor offenses that such a violation carries.

I am not an expert on law, so if any of you see an error in my logic or a law that I may have missed, please let me know.



  1. Frank Rizzo
    Posted February 2, 2009 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Oh sweet Jesus do I love you guys. Get those scamera’s out of AZ and get big bro off our backs!

    Posted February 2, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Permalink


  3. icekola
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 12:40 am | Permalink

    You are truly onto something great here! I would love to see a forced refund of every ticket ever paid! How can we make this happen?

  4. photoradarscam
    Posted February 4, 2009 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    We need more significant media exposure. I am working on an official response to my complaint from DPS before pursuing this further. There is a small chance that I’m wrong or missing something, so I want to make sure before I make this issue bigger.

  5. Fred
    Posted June 30, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Keep up the good work. Waiting the outcome of stationary radar vehicle in a construction zone with multiple speed limit changes. DPS must have a school for sneaky rip offs.

  6. J
    Posted July 20, 2010 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I had court this week in Maricopa County for photo radar ticket. Redflex Representitive (Plantiff) had 2 calibration pages for 2 seperate days near my ticket saying the cameras were working properly. I asked the Redflex Representitive if the person that supposedly calabrated the cameras and tested them with radar unit is certified by the state to calabrate radar equipment. He said he did not know. I proposed to the judge that the case should be dismissed due to not knowing the level of qualification or certification of the person that did the calibration. The judge entertained the argument but since I did not know who was responsable with the state to certify a person that works with or calibrates radar he did not rule in my favor. The AZ Dept of Weights and Measures should be responsable for this but may not be. After his ruling the judge said he had not heard that argument before and it may be a valid one with proof. Hope this helps.

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