Postal Service reps from East Cleveland, Ohio are claiming immunity for their drivers who racked up $700 (€516) in tickets.
The state-powered service “enjoys federal immunity from state and local regulation,” writes their attorney in a letter addressed to City Hall.
“The state and/or local ordinances imposing penalties and fines cannot be enforced as against the Postal Service, and there is no statutory basis for doing so,” Jennifer S. Breslin argues.
The USPS legal defendant is trying to get the fines thrown out, CBS Cleveland reports. Seven violations were registered in December 2012, according to American Traffic Solutions (ATS) supervising traffic cams in the city.
Postal trucks drivers have been cited for speeding in a school-zone twice, and for running red lights five times. The ATS is dismissing claims filed by the USPS.
“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,” ATS lawyer George Hittner responds.
The Postal Services attorney specifies that the organization imposes strict regulations on its drivers, holding them accountable for acting against state laws when driving the Post's trucks or their personal vehicles for official business.
Hittner indicates that all fines should be transferred to the drivers responsible for incurring them, citing legal precedents. In one case, an employee driving without clothes on “was arrested for lewd and lascivious behavior.”
“We suggest that you transfer the liability for the infractions to the USPS drivers who incurred them, and instruct them that pursuant to Ohio law, as well as the USPS guidelines, the infractions are their responsibility. If you choose to ignore the infractions, penalties and fines will continue to accumulate,” he explains.