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$30,000 in refunds issued for school bus program

2 years 11 months 4 weeks ago May 28, 2014 May 28, 2014 Wednesday, May 28 2014 May 28, 2014 8:54 PM in The Investigative Unit
Source: WBRZ
By: Ryan Naquin

BATON ROUGE - About 100 drivers are getting refunds, and more could too, after a judge ruled their traffic tickets were null and void.

Some $30,000 is being returned to drivers who got a ticket from cameras mounted on the side of East Baton Rouge school buses.

The system, operated by Force Multiplier Solutions Inc., catches people ignoring the stop-arm and flashing stop lights of a bus.  But, the system was using a parish ordinance to issue tickets instead of a superseding state law.

"I went to the mailbox opened it up and I said, 'oh Maria here it is.' I was just shocked," refund recipient Keith Horcasitas said.

He got his $325 refund from FXS Tuesday.

FXS issued the refunds and cancelled fines for drivers who refused to pay because of the conflicting laws.

According to the judge ruling on the violations, it's completely legal to pass a stopped school bus on the other side of the road where there is a middle turn lane allowing drivers to turn left from either direction.

FXS says its employees reviewed all of the violations in East Baton Rouge again and is now issuing tickets according to the judge's interpretation.

"If it's something that we were being accused of that wasn't right, it needed to be corrected," Horcasitas said.

Other drivers who believe they were issued a ticket in error due to this interpretation can call FXS at 504-831-8796.

A bill moving through the state capitol would require all drivers to stop unless there is a median between them and the stopped bus.  It has little support.

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