Mix-up may render traffic tickets void - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mix-up may render traffic tickets issued in Memphis since January 1 void

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A major mistake uncovered by the Action News 5 Investigators may render all traffic tickets issued in Memphis and Shelby County since January 1st void.

When Action News 5 received a tip about a major mix up that could affect thousands of Memphis traffic citations, we went straight to traffic court to get answers.

"It is kind of surprising, because I was looking at a citation when you mentioned it to me," traffic attorney Mark Saripkin said.

Tennessee Code 55-10-207 (g) requires that all Tennessee citations issued in lieu of arrest must display 13 specific items.  Because of the new law, citations now being issued in Memphis and Shelby County are outdated, because they are missing two items on the list.

Specifically, citations are missing fields that list whether or not the driver has a "commercial driver license" and if the vehicle is "transporting hazardous materials requiring placards."

Essentially, any citation in Tennessee that was not updated by January 1 violates the new law.  Saripkin said he has a stack of such citations.     

"They might be considered invalid because they don't indicate the law the state says its supposed to have," he said.

In addition to speeders and reckless drivers, Saripkin explained the kinds of violations this could affect.

"Driving on a suspended or revoked license, financial responsibility law, state registration (and) inspections," he said.

According to Saripkin, the state or county should be required to print new tickets if they're outdated.

"Without a doubt, I'm going to look at it," he said.

It's unclear how many thousands of citations this could impact.  A Memphis police spokesperson said the department is aware of the situation, and is working on a solution, but does not believe citations will be voided due to the lack of the newly required information.

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