8/19/2005Florida Toll Road Cameras Issuing Bogus Tickets
Thousands of innocent motorists ticketed by cameras on Central Florida toll roads face $85 fines and license suspensions.
Cameras designed to ticket motorists who attempt to cheat Central Florida toll roads are nabbing thousands of innocent motorists. Technical problems are preventing the system from reading the transponders of legitimate toll road customers in all cases. Florida Turnpike officials blame the problem on the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority, who in turn blame the Turnpike's cheap equipment. These officials adopted a "zero tolerance" policy for motorists in May, without a corresponding zero-tolerance policy for errors in their own equipment. Seven thousand drivers have been fined $85.50, generating $598,500 in revenue.
Paying customers like Elroy Caines and Jennifer Cooper, both from Orlando, are finding that the bogus tickets are jeopardizing their driving licenses. Caines was told months ago that an incorrect ticket had been fixed but he has since learned his license is about to be suspended because he didn't pay. Cooper never even received a ticket and only learned of a problem when she began receiving junk mail from lawyers about fighting her ticket. Because she only had days before her license was suspended, she had no choice but to pay.
"I'll never get that $85 back," Cooper told the Orlando Sentinel.
Toll road officials refuse to stop issuing tickets until the technical problems are addressed, even though innocent motorists are still being sent violations.
Christa Deason, a SunPass spokeswoman [said] "But why should people who violate the law get away with it? We are not going to stop enforcement because we have a glitch in the system."Source: SunPass, E-Pass blame toll errors on each other (Orlando Sentinel, 8/19/2005)
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