Police departments in Cedar Rapids, Davenport, and Clive are now catching violators with red light and speeding cameras, but some people are getting tickets for violations they didn’t commit because they didn’t take their license plates off when they sold their vehicles.
Some former owners are getting traffic tickets when new owners get caught by camera running red lights. Linn County deputy treasurer Sharon Gonzalez says her office is getting calls from unhappy former car owners who had nothing to do with running the red light.
“All of a sudden they’re getting at ticket in the mail for a vehicle they’ve disposed of. Our first question is did you take your license plates off,” Gonzalez says. She says that one question usually solves the issue right away. “And usually the response is ‘No I left them on the vehicle’,” Gonzalez says, “and of course that’s the only identifier when those tickets are issued, is by the license plate.”
Gonzalez says removing the plates when selling a vehicle also protects you from parking tickets rung up by the new owner. In Clive and Davenport, police say they’re reissuing traffic camera citations to the actual offender if former owners can show they had sold the vehicle before the violation occurred.
In Clive, police say they had a case where a woman who got the car in a divorce settlement ran up traffic violations which were caught by camera. The tickets then went to the ex-spouse.