Entries in Tickets (3)


Texting While Jaywalking? New Jersey Town Issues Tickets

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(FORT LEE, N.J.) -- If you’re caught texting while crossing the street in Fort Lee, N.J., you’d better be ready to cough up $85 for a ticket.

Police Chief Thomas Ripoli said that jaywalking had become a dangerous problem with pedestrians traveling while distracted by technology, be it their cellphones or mp3 players.

“They’re not walking in the crosswalks. They’re walking against the red light, and they’re being struck by vehicles,” Ripoli said Monday. “We had three fatalities this year, and 23 people hurt, hit, [in] a three-month period.”

Last year, 74 pedestrians were struck and two people were killed in Fort Lee, a city of 35,000, just across the Hudson River from New York City.

Officers started handing out pamphlets in March, but Ripoli said that when residents didn’t heed the warnings, the police started ticketing offenders.

According to The Record, the local newspaper, more than 117 tickets had been issued so far.

In 2008, according to an Ohio State University study, more than 1,000 people -- double the previous year’s number -- visited emergency rooms after they were injured while walking and talking on the telephone.

Researchers at Stony Brook University in New York found that texters were 60 percent more likely to veer off line than those walking and not texting.

Chief Ripoli said he hoped the jaywalking crackdown would encourage the public to become smarter when traveling on foot.

He said the tickets had nothing to do with collecting more money for the city.

“I’m here to make sure my officers and the public are safe,” he said. “We believe you should make eye contact with the vehicles when you’re crossing....Technology is interfering a little bit with the safety of the public.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Are Red Light Camera Fines Voluntary?

Comstock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Tickets from red-light cameras are not as enforceable as most motorists think, and now their high cost and the widespread public backlash against them may be leading to their removal in America's car capital.

As the bright light flashes when a car zips through a red light, most motorists are not really sure if they have been caught, until a ticket shows up in the mail, along with a fine of up to $500.  The "gotcha!" cameras have even led some drivers to put a box over their head or even wear a mask to avoid the ticket.

In the city of Los Angeles -- considered to be the driving capital of America -- the fines for these tickets are, unbeknownst to many, voluntary.

City officials in L.A. said they were shocked to learn that there's no real enforcement of the tickets due to the fact that courts find the cases difficult to prove, as the person receiving the ticket is often not the person driving the car at the time the photo was snapped.  The courts have now ruled that violations caught on a photo are unenforceable, since there is no live witness to testify against an alleged offender.

Discovering this has angered those who've shelled out hundreds in fines, leading many to ask if they can have their money back.

"If you paid the fine, you paid the fine.  If you didn't pay the fine, you were pretty much able to get away with it," Paul Koretz of the Los Angeles City Council told ABC News.

Approximately 40 percent of ticketed drivers got away with not paying those hefty fines that come with a red light camera ticket -- which is why Los Angeles is dumping the cameras altogether.

And the trend to rid cities of the unpopular cameras may go nationwide.

The city of Houston has already banished the cameras, and according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a total of nine states have banned the red-light cameras.  Several others have passed laws limiting the use of camera enforcement.

Getting rid of the cameras will ultimately save the city of Los Angeles around $1million per year.  But some are still concerned that without them, there may be more collisions.

A study this year by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety claims that in 14 of America's largest cities the cameras have saved 159 lives during a four-year period.  The study also said that if all 99 of the country's largest cities had them installed, 815 lives could have been saved.

Still, some believe they may cause more harm than good when motorists stop short because they are thinking about the camera, causing a rear-end collision.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Texas Family's Lost World Series Tix Returned Just In Time

Photo Courtesy - WBAP Radio(DALLAS) -- A north Texas man saved a family's dream.  That's how James Williamson sees his unselfish act, anyway.  He was buying a tee shirt at the Texas Rangers Gift Shop at the stadium in Arlington, near Dallas, where they play.  He found four tickets to Saturday's game against the San Francisco Giants.

Along about the same time, Tom Parsons had decided to kiss goodbye his four thousand dollar investment in game three, for which he had flown his son back from New York.   His family had planned to watch the game together and he said his heart was sinking as he realized he had somehow lost the tickets. 

Williamson says he would love to see a game in person but "That's somebody's dream right there."  He said he would feel guilty if he kept the tickets for himself.  So he turned in the tickets.  Parsons, who runs a travel website, expressed his gratitude by giving Williamson some travel vouchers, which he says the good samaritan might use to travel to San Francisco to see game six.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio