The U.S. Postal Service is trying to get out of paying some traffic tickets.
A lawyer for the USPS sent the city of East Cleveland as well as the company that operates the town’s speeding cameras a letter last month arguing that the USPS is exempt from paying nearly $700 in traffic tickets, according to USA Today. In the letter, posted on Scribd by Yahoo! News, Jennifer Breslin, senior litigation counsel for the Postal Service, cites the Constitution in explaining why the agency should be exempt from paying the tickets.
“The Postal Service attempts to work within local and state laws and regulations, when feasible,” Breslin wrote in the letter. “However, as you are probably aware, the Postal Service enjoys federal immunity from state and local regulation.”
A USPS spokesman backed up Breslin’s claim in an interview with USA Today, saying that while Postal Service workers are required to obey traffic laws like any other citizen, “the Postal Service cannot legally be billed for any traffic violation fines incurred by its employees.”
The Postal Service could probably use the extra cash. The agency reported a record annual loss of $15.9 billion in November.
An attorney for American Traffic Solutions, the company that operates East Cleveland’s photo-enforcement system, responded to Breslin’s letter urging the USPS to transfer the liability for the tickets onto the drivers responsible for the violations, according to Yahoo! News.
“By attempting to hide behind an immunity claim, you are aiding and abetting your drivers in their blatant disregard for the traffic laws in East Cleveland, which have endangered other drivers, pedestrians and school children,” he wrote.
East Cleveland’s Mayor Gary Norton offered a response of his own to Breslin’s claims.
“I was unaware that the Post Office doesn’t have to stop at red lights or obey the speed limit,” he told Cleveland.com. “But since they are, I wish I’d get my mail faster.”