Council OKs contract with collection firm for unpaid traffic camera tickets

T-R FILE PHOTO This stretch of Governor Road is one of two Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE) areas in Marshalltown. During Monday night’s meeting, the city council voted 4-2 to enter into a contract with ARC Management for the collection of unpaid citations.

Since the program’s implementation last summer, the two Automated Traffic Enforcement (ATE) cameras in Marshalltown — one on Lincoln Way and another on South 12th Avenue/Governor Road — have issued over 8,000 citations to drivers through the end of February. Nearly 37 percent of them, however, have not yet been paid.

To address that issue, Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper presented a contract with a Georgia-based collections firm known as ARC Management Group, which came recommended by camera vendor Sensys Gatso, for council approval. Tupper said he was happy with the number of citations that have been paid as the percentage was higher than average, especially for the first year of the program.

“But we still have a number of people that are ignoring the citation, and we recommend that we not allow that because you lose the effectiveness of the program. It doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have any consequences,” he said.

The number of citations issued from both locations has steadily declined, according to Tupper, and he said the ultimate goal was for people to “put us out of business” by obeying the speed limits.

“Quite frankly, please obey the speed limits throughout our community because it’s a big problem for us, and I would also like to point out that people will not receive citations until they’re at least 11 miles per hour over the speed limit,” the chief said.

Tupper sends weekly reports to the council, and he said there are still instances of people traveling “well over” the established speed limits on those two roads. With no questions from the council or public comments, a vote to approve the contract passed 4-2 with Councilors Mark Mitchell and Gary Thompson opposed.

There is no upfront cost to the city for the contract as the costs are paid out of the proceeds from the tickets. According to the contract, ARC is entitled to receive a fee for their services of 25 percent of amounts collected. If the city wants ARC to pursue legal action, the city must pay all upfront fees related to the filing of the case, and the contingency fee for primary placements moved to legal action is 35 percent.


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