9/16/2005New Jersey: New Car Buyer Hit with E-ZPass Tickets
A Pennsylvania man is hit with New Jersey E-ZPass tickets after he trades in his car.
When Carl Bateman bought a new car, he never realized it would lead to a battle with New Jersey Turnpike officials accusing him of E-ZPass violations that he did not commit. Bateman went to a local Honda dealership and traded-in an old car for a new one, leaving the license plate on his old vehicle. In the age of photo tickets, that was enough for the retired school teacher to be presumed guilty and face months of hassle.
Turnpike officials maintained that Bateman owed hundreds of dollars for not paying tolls. They had no interest in listening to his evidence that he had traded in the license plate listed on the tickets.
"I wrote a letter and I sent that in with an explanation and proof of purchase (for the new car)," Bateman told the Express-Times newspaper, which he had called in to help resolve the problem.
The paper teamed up with Bateman's state legislator to badger Turnpike officials into listening to the valid complaint of an ordinary citizen. Their efforts forced the Turnpike to drop all charges against Bateman. Police in Mountainside, New Jersey arrested a man who had been using Bateman's old license plate. The car dealer, however, cannot explain how the plate left their possession and ended up in the hands of a New Jersey thief.
"It was initially funny," recalled Bateman, who grew up in Phillipsburg, "and now it's getting serious."Source: Salamone: Tag trouble ends for motorist (Easton, PA Express-Times, 9/15/2005)
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