D.C. Councilmember on fed’s ticket: ‘Rules are rules’

WASHINGTON – After telling the story of a federal worker who says he received a parking ticket while his car was at another location, WTOP has received dozens of calls and emails saying the policies of the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles are unfair.

D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh — who has oversight of the DMV — wouldn’t go into specifics about John R. Stanton’s case. But while she admits the situation is convoluted, she does not believe the city’s ticket adjudication process is flawed.

“The bottom line is, according to the DMV, is that he didn’t make his case within the time period,” says Cheh, D-Ward 3.

On March 20, DMV Director Lucinda Babers told WTOP that Stanton waived his right to a hearing because he responded 66 days after the July 11, 2011 parking ticket.

Drivers are supposed to respond within 60 days.

“Rules are rules, there’s a framework, and there’s a process,” says Cheh.

However, Stanton says when he was found liable again on March 22, the DMV didn’t mail out the notice until March 27.

“They adjudicate hundreds of thousands of tickets every year and inevitably there will be a number where there are mistakes. But that’s what the process is there for,” says Cheh.

“You’re portraying this as, you know, ‘A lot of them are saying this or that …,'” Cheh says. “I don’t know what their cases are like, but unless I were to see something where the very process itself is flawed, as a legislator there’s really nothing I can do.”

Cheh says whether the DMV takes too long adjudicating tickets is a separate issue from whether the process itself is flawed.

“I don’t have any evidence of that,” she says.

If you think you’re the victim of a bogus speed camera, red-light camera or parking ticket in D.C., Maryland or Virgina, WTOP may be able to help you cut the red tape. Email us your case – along with documentation – to ticketbuster@wtop.com.

WTOP’s Ari Ashe contributed to this report. Follow @AriAsheWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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