TheBlaze has previously reported about the controversy caused by the use of red-light cameras. Some criticize them as an “embarrassing” source of revenue. Others say the cameras can be faulty. Either way, both sides against the technology see a benefit in an actual police officer identifying the driver and handing over the ticket.
A woman in New Jersey and her mother who has been helping her in a recent case would agree.
When Lauren Morosoff first received a ticket in the mail for running a red-light — thanks to a red-light camera — she thought it was funny. When she eventually lost her driving privileges over the incident, she was no longer laughing.
You see, Morosoff didn’t even live in the state when the ticket was time-stamped, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reports. She had moved to Colorado. In a lengthy saga with the Edison Township, where the ticket was issued, and the local judicial system, Morosoff’s mother Terri, who was helping her daughter, said to the Star-Ledger she is ultimately “very sorry for all New Jersey and non-New Jersey drivers out there.”
“This really eliminates any faith I had in our judicial system,” Terri, who still lives in the state and has been facilitating some of the back-and-forth, told to the newspaper.
When she received the ticket, Morosoff recalled to the paper, she “laughed out loud when I saw it.” She called the appropriate department in Edison Township to tell them there was a mistake, as she was not longer even in the state. But they didn’t believe her. Eventually, Morosoff was told to fill out forms to dispute the ticket and didn’t hear anything after sending them in, assuming all was taken care of.
That is, until she received notice of her license being revoked for “failure to appear” in court.
Issues seemed to have occurred with the Motor Vehicles Commission and Edison County, and as Terri continued to contact them both parties she told different things.
A year after the ticket was issued and still undergoing this back-and-forth in September, Terri said “We are so frustrated. At this time, I don’t even know if my daughter should be driving, but we don’t want to pay a fine for something that she didn’t do,” she said.
At this point, Terri turned to the Star-Ledger’s “Bamboozeled” column for help. The Star-Leger reports it reviewed the evidence and found the photo of the original license plate to be “quite blurry.” They also said that the car owned by Morosoff and the car in the photo appear to be different as well.
The tale continues with Terri telling the Star-Ledger on Sept. 20 that the Edison Township judge found her daughter guilty of running the light:
“This is just insane,” she wrote, adding that she called Edison to find out how to appeal, but no one answered.
Morosoff said the ticket amounts are $81 and $33 in court costs, plus there’s the MVC restoration fee.
“Even though the amount wouldn’t kill us to pay, it’s just WRONG to have to pay for something where they made an error,” she wrote.
If you didn’t think this could get any more disorganized, the Star-Ledger writes “the plot thickened.” Morosoff received a court summons in the mail Sept. 20, postmarked Sept. 19 — the same day it said she had to appear in court.
“Is this their way of making sure no one shows up? By notifying them after the fact?” Terri said to the Star-Ledger.
Anti-climactically, as much as the Morosoffs were ready to appeal the guilty verdict, they started calculating how much it would cost (plane tickets, legal fees, etc.) and found it cheaper to just pay the fine.
“Who knows how many others have received bogus tickets and were forced to pay them?” Terri said.
Red-light cameras have seen recent legal decisions in other states of late. A Maryland city voted to remove the cameras for actually costing tax-payers more money to keep them running only two years after they were installed. And a Florida judge ruled in favor of a man who considered the cameras taking pictures to provide tickets unconstitutional.
Featured image via Shutterstock.com.