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Colorado's red light cameras land mother with daughter's tickets

Do you like to pay for other people's mistakes? Neither does a Colorado mother who's gotten stuck with having to pay for traffic tickets that belong to her daughter. Colorado's use of red light cameras at certain intersections caught the daughter running lights on two occasions. But because the car being driven is in the mother's name, she now owes about $300 in fines.

Why would a person not responsible for a traffic violation be required to pay the traffic tickets? A couple of factors worked against the mother in this frustrating scenario. First, law enforcement doesn't look at the driver in the picture caught by red light cameras; rather, they look at the license plate and whom the vehicle is registered to when deciding to whom the ticket belongs.

Reports indicate that the pictures of the supposed red light violations clearly prove that the mother wasn't the driver. She recognizes the driver as her daughter who's been driving the car in the photo that is registered to her mother. The daughter allegedly ran a red light and was captured by Colorado's cameras on two occasions, leading to two separate traffic citations getting sent to the address of the car owner.

That is where the second hiccup comes into play. The traffic citations were sent to the address listed on the car's registration. The mother wasn't living there, meaning that she didn't know about the violations and fines that she supposedly owed. By forgetting to update her address on her car registration, she missed the legal notifications that went to her old address and missed the timeframe during which she could have effectively challenged the citations.

The two tickets went from costing the suspect $75 each, then $115 each and now to a total of almost $300. The prices escalated because of the suspect's tardiness in paying them. The tickets went to collections and now the mother who never ran a red light in the first place not only still owes money for tickets she doesn't deserve, but her credit score could also take a hit.

Source: 9 News, "Woman forced to pay red-light tickets when she wasn't driver," Will Ripley, May 1, 2012

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