HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – An elderly couple in Hendersonville got a $50 speeding ticket from a city they didn’t drive in associated with a car they don’t even own.
The family questions if the small town police department in Henry County, two hours outside of Nashville, is doing its job correctly. They also wonder how many drivers have experienced a similar mistake.
The couple’s son, police officer Tim Coleman, told News 2 his parents drive a light blue Toyota Camry. His dad is in poor health so he and his wife rarely driver long distances.
So when the Puryear Police Department sent them a $50 speeding ticket, the 22-year police veteran was very suspicious.
“My mother came to me, upset and nervous,” Coleman said. He told News 2 he told her, “Mom, that’s not your car.”
He said his father is oxygen-dependent after serving 28 years in the military.
“Someone needs to explain to me why 70-year-old, oxygen-dependent father is getting a ticket in th email from a county he has never been in,” Coleman added.
According to the Puryear Police Department’s website, the violation was generated by a police officer using a hand-held laser attached to a camera. It was not a camera affixed to a pole or traffic light.
In the Colemans’ case, two officers worked the traffic citation, which was signed by both, including the chief of police in Puryear, Dave Paschall.
Coleman said if an officer did sign off on the citation, there are several discrepancies, including the fact that his parents’ car is a Toyota. The speeding car is a Chevrolet.
The Colemans’ car also has a handicap placard; the speeding car does not. Their car is also light blue, but the speeding car is dark, almost black.
The police veteran told News 2 the citation scared his mother and she would have paid despite the fact that she didn’t drive in Henry County.
News 2 called the chief of the Puryear Police Department and brought the erroneous ticket to his attention.
“It was a clerical error on the processing company’s end,” Chief Paschall said. “We are sorry for the inconvenience, sir.”
When asked what he would say to assure people, the chief said, “Mistakes happen, like this case here. We apologize for that. We have talked to the president and he says they will tighten up their standards there and make sure it doesn’t’ happen again, but it was just an accident.”
Chief Paschall told News 2 the department is sending the elderly couple another letter, this time informing them they can disregard the citation sent in error.
Paschall also said the technology his department is using has significantly reduced speeding on local roads in Henry County.
News 2 also wants to the note the couple could have disputed the ticket, but according to the city’s website, they would have had to travel two hours to be in court and pay a $63.75 court cost, more than the speeding violation itself.