GRETNA -- A class action lawsuit has been filed against Jefferson Parish over fines assessed to motorists who were photographed as part of a school bus traffic safety program.

William Mellor and Collette Srubar are the named plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit filed in the 24th Judicial District on March 16 against the Parish of Jefferson.

The plaintiffs claim the parish's school bus safety program detected violations of motorists overtaking and passing school buses via cameras affixed to the buses. The defendants allegedly enacted the program in 2008 to punish drivers who overtook buses that were stopped with their signs and warning lights engaged in preparation to pick up or drop off students. The plaintiffs claim the ordinance as enacted is illegal because it violates the Highway Ordinance Act by bypassing police authority and interacting with a third party private entity.

The plaintiffs allege the program is unconstitutional because it violates their due process rights. The class action lawsuit could potentially involve thousands of plaintiffs who have been assessed fines since the program's beginning.

The plaintiffs are being represented by Metairie-based attorney Joseph R. McMahon, III.

The case has been assigned to Division A Judge Raymond S. Steib, Jr.

Case number 712496

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