Monday, October 28, 2013

It Practically Takes An Act Of Congress To Dismiss False "Camera Cop" Ticket

Laurie Roscow-Collins of Illinois has never been to San Francisco, doesn't own a semi truck and has never driven one.
Despite what San Francisco traffic enforcement
says, this Illinois woman does not own a semi-truck
and has never driven one. 

But, San Francisco traffic enforcement gave her a ticket for evading a toll on a Bay Area bridge in her non-existent semi-truck at a moment when she was nowhere near San Francisco.

The folks at the Bay Area's FasTrak traffic enforcement in San Francisco still thinks Roscow-Collins' excuse is pretty lame, and wants her to pay up. Or did until a television station intervened.

A semi-truck probably did run a toll on a San Francisco bridge. And it probably had the same license plate number as Roscow-Collins' car. But trucks have an "apportioned" label on their license plate. The Illinois woman's more modest vehicle has no such label.

You'd think a quick phone call would have cleared up the confusion, but Uh-UH!!!!

She had to turn to a local television station Fox 2 for help. The television station ended up having to contact the Illinois Attorney General, who in turn contacted California officials to convince them to watch the video of the alleged misdeed and therefore determine that Roscow-Collins had nothing to do with evading a toll.

She said it probably would have been easier just to pay the fine to make it go away and that's clearly what FasTrak had in mind. Instead of fixing the mistake they made, even a fix that takes two seconds of revised data entry, FasTrak apparently figured it would be easier just to make somebody pay, who cares who?

You just make a random person's life miserable and  complicated enough until they find it is easier to pay. Which is how Roscow-Collins got in that mess.

Also, the Fox 2 reporter said that FasTrack didn't bother to return his repeatedly calls and emails. Again, just keep victimizing some poor woman in Illinois to get your revenue. Whether she did anything wrong is besides the point.

She said she decided to fight because what if the person running the toll booths did it again. And sure enough, Roscow-Collins has received a few more tickets from that same semi-driver that is not her.

So she has to go through this mess again. Luckuly, with the glare of the media spotlight, FasTrak says it will void these new tickets and keep an eye on the situation.

It's unclear from the Fox 2 report what people should do if they are falsely accused of toll booth violations, like Roscow-Collins was.

Do they expect you to keep paying somebody else's traffic ticket?  Or just drive a semi truck through FasTrack's office?

Now, I'm awaiting my ticket for driving my rickshaw through a Seattle red light or something.

Could happen, right?

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