SOUTHERN ILLINOIS (KTVI)-- Camera cops could be citing you for crimes you did not commit. An Illinois woman said she recently got a ticket for evading a toll in San Francisco, but it's a city she says she`s never visited. She called Fox 2`s Chris Hayes, when California authorities refused to look at their own video.
Laurie Roscow-Collins said, "I noticed immediately it`s from San Francisco, haha. I've ever been to San Francisco, so I started reading through it, it turns out I evaded a toll. So we`re laughing about it. (I thought) it`s just going to take a simple phone call to clear this up."
Like California`s infamous snarl of highways, Roscow-Collins says she failed to navigate the bureaucracy that is the Bay Area`s FasTrak. This should be easy. Yes, it`s her plate number on the ticket, but the photo shows the plate also says `apportioned.' That means it`s a plate that belongs to a semi truck.
Roscow-Collins laughed, "I`m a middle aged housewife from Illinois. I`ve never owned a semi truck nor have I ever driven one. I'm thinking I`d get a chuckle out of these people. There was no laughter."
Illinois is just like every other State. Regulators have a limited number of letter and number combinations for license plates. So truckers often get letter and number combos that may already exist on a car, but the plate is stamped 'apportioned.'
Roscow-Collins said, "It would be easier to pay the fee and just move on, however this could happen repeatedly. This driver is not afraid to run a toll in San Francisco. What if he runs bridges and red lights in Dallas, Boston, NY, and then pretty soon I'm getting these from all over the country."
I called the Illinois Secretary of State`s Office for help.
Henry Haupt said, "As soon as I talked to you, Chris, we reached out to Ms. Roscoe. We spoke with her for quite awhile. She gave us all the details. At that point we reached out to the CA highway authority, convinced them to look at the footage and once they did that, their response was virtually immediate."
They wiped out the ticket after Illinois officials cut through CA FasTrak's red tape. But since then, Laurie got two more tickets, exactly what she feared. FasTrak is apparently telling her they understand this time, but we'll stay on top of it to be sure.
FasTrak never responded to my request for a response or explanation.