Government Law

Can the US Postal Service run red lights with impunity?


Image from the USPS.

A U.S. Postal Service lawyer got some blowback recently for writing a letter saying the agency is not obligated to pay state and local fines for traffic violations, according to USA Today.

“In providing mail service across the country, the Postal Service attempts to work within local and state laws and regulations, when feasible,” wrote Jennifer Breslin, a USPS senior litigation counsel. “However, as you are probably aware, the Postal Service enjoys federal immunity from state and local regulation.”

“I was not aware that the Post Office doesn’t have to stop at red lights or obey the speed limit,” East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “But since they are, I wish I’d get my mail faster.” 

Breslin got a less humorous response (PDF) from a lawyer for American Traffic Solutions, a private vendor based Tempe, Ariz., that operates the photo-enforcement system.

“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,” wrote George Hittner, ATS’s general counsel. Hittner suggested transferring the cost of the tickets to the drivers themselves.

Hat tip: Newser.

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