Drivers Not Off Hook for Missing Traffic Tickets - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NC5 Investigates: General Sessions Court

Drivers Not Off Hook for Missing Traffic Tickets

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Metro is about to send thousands of letters to people who received speeding and parking tickets.

It's an attempt to recoup money lost after tickets were found in employees' desks at the Traffic Violations Bureau.

But Metro's plan is not sitting well with everyone.

Take, for example, Chris Cutler. The Bellevue woman knew what was up the second she saw the flashing lights.

"I was speeding so I didn't challenge it or anything.  I was going to do the traffic school and pay the fine that I owed," Cutler told NewsChannel 5 investigative reporter Ben Hall.

But as time went on, she couldn't understand how her ticket seemed to disappear.  She tried to enter her ticket into the Metro Traffic School website, but there was no record of it.

"It kept showing no such ticket, no such ticket, no such ticket, and that's why I would call," Cutler said.

But her calls received the same response.  She was shocked to learn she wasn't alone -- that thousands of tickets just disappeared. 

Now some Metro Council members are questioning the lack of safeguards in the Traffic Violations Bureau and the cost to the city.

"It couldn't have come at a worse time because we're laying people off and we've had so many problems in that office," Councilman Michael Craddock said.

He supports the decision to try and get the money back by sending letters to those whose tickets seemingly disappeared.

"They should be given the opportunity to either go to school, go to court or pay the ticket.  At the end of the day they need to do one of them because that's the fair thing to do," Craddock said.

But some drivers disagree. 

Metro told Chris Cutler to tear up her ticket after 45 days.  She doesn't think it's fair the city will now send out letters demanding money to cover for its mistake.

"They had 45 days to put those tickets in the system, and if that's what the rule was, then it's not my fault," Cutler said.

If drivers sent the clerk's office money with a hard copy of the ticket, the office took their money.  So, they won't receive a letter.

The rest will get letters with choices of paying, going to traffic school or going to court.

See also: 5,000 Missing Tickets Found Stuffed in Clerks' Desks

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