Mayor’s letter apologizing was right thing to do, even if tickets weren’t intentional

Published 11:12 pm Thursday, June 9, 2016

In Thursday’s paper, we reported on a local family that said it received traffic violation tickets for driving through traffic lights while in a funeral procession.

According to Mayor George Evans, that situation has already been addressed. Evans announced during Thursday’s city council work session that he wrote a letter to the family, apologizing that they received tickets. Writing a letter was the right thing to do, even if the city never intentionally wrote a ticket to the family. According to Selma Police Department chief John Brock, the red light cameras work 24/7, so every time a car runs the light, it takes a photo. The camera doesn’t know whether cars are in a funeral procession or not and at times, we’re sure it’s difficult for officers who review the footage to tell whether or not there’s a procession ongoing or not without some errors.

When we wrote the story, we realized it would likely be resolved quickly. Brock had already spoken to a member of the McLean family and had explained why they had received tickets.

However, we still felt like it was important to write about it because this isn’t the first time this had happened. We’ve seen posts on social media where people have complained about receiving tickets while in a funeral procession, and we’re sure it will likely happen again.

Brock said it happens occasionally and we’re guessing it will continue to happen as long as the red light cameras are in place. Thankfully, there appears to be a simple solution for anyone who does receive a ticket.

Brock said if you receive a ticket while in a procession, to contact the funeral home, which will then get in contact with the police department.