Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Help Me Howard: Not Driver in Red Light Camera
Red light cameras. Say those words and some people will start to steam. One South Florida woman is upset after she got a ticket, but she wasn't driving her car- the police were. So does she still have to pay the ticket? It's why she called Help me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- When Annette Fisher's birthday rolled around, she knew exactly how to get the gift she wanted.
Annette Fisher, Not the Driver: "This is my birthday gift to myself."
Annette bought herself this Lexus.
She loves it and likes her boyfriend so much, she let him drive it.
Annette Fisher: "My boyfriend was riding in the car and the police pulled him over."
Annette's boyfriend got a ticket for driving without a seat belt. Annette says the police then told her they found marijuana outside the car and decided to take him to jail. They then confiscate her vehicle.
Annette Fisher: "Instead of them towing the car, they drove my car to the police venue instead of calling the tow truck."
Annette says three days later she had to pay $500 to get her car out of the impound lot. A few days after that, she got a letter in the mail.
Annette Fisher: "Then I end up getting stuck with a ticket for $158 dollars when the car wasn't even in my possession."
Annette got the ticket for making a right turn on a red light out of the middle lane.
Annette Fisher: "And he wasn't even in the turning lane and he didn't have his signal on either to turn."
Problem is, when her car went through the red light in Sunrise she was at home, her boyfriend was in handcuffs on the way to jail and her car was in the possession of the police.
Annette Fisher: "I know my documents right here say that he was pulled over at 10:15 p.m. and their ticket that they got in my vehicle was at 10:43 p.m."
Annette's paperwork seems to confirm the police had her car when it ran the red light, leaving her fuming.
Annette Fisher: "It's frustrating cause I have a clean record. I never got a ticket before so it's very frustrating to me to see this come in the mail."
Annette didn't complain to the police about the red light ticket. She told us she didn't think it would do her any good.
Annette Fisher: "They think they have the authority to do whatever they want to do cause they wearing a badge. I feel like I get better justice by me calling Help me Howard."
Well Howard, clearly Annette's car ran a red light. But just as clear, she wasn't behind the wheel. So who is responsible when your vehicle is caught by a red light camera?
Howard Finkelstein: "The owner of the car is responsible for the vehicle but if they can show they weren't driving and can prove someone else was behind the wheel, then the car owner does not have to pay the ticket."
I then called the Sunrise Police Department who told me they would check out the information. They did and moved quickly. I got this email from the department that said, "her citation has been reassigned to the officer who was driving the vehicle and he is paying it."
And if someone driving your car gets a ticket, here's what you do.
Howard Finkelstein: "Send the city that issues the camera ticket an affidavit. In other words, a piece of paper that lists the name of the person driving your car, their address and date of birth if you know it. With that information, your ticket should be dismissed and they might issue a ticket to the person that was driving your car."
Annette now has her car back and the ticket wiped out. I just had one more question for her; about her boyfriend.
Annette Fisher: "If I'm gonna let him drive it again? He can drive it again. He can drive it."
Patrick Fraser: "I guess she really does likes him. We do get a lot of complaints about those red light cameras. If you don't think you are guilty, contact the police in the city it was issued. And one more thing, check to make sure there are signs that warn the cameras are at an approaching intersection. The signs have to be there to warn you or your ticket may not be valid."
Wish a camera could document your dilemma? Need the green light to move ahead? Ticket us to tackle your trouble and let us get you a free ride.
CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org (Please include your contact phone number when emailing)
REPORTER: Patrick Fraser at email@example.com