Putnam Co. couple takes issue with red-light ticket

Couple says car running red light isn't theirs

PALATKA, Fla. – A Putnam County woman, who said she once thought red light cameras were a great way of reducing red light runners, was suddenly faced with a reality she doesn't like.

Joe Mace claims the video proves that she doesn't deserve a ticket, because the car running a red light on Monument Road has her tag, but isn't hers.

"I've asked policemen and they said they've never heard of it before," said Mace.

Joe and Randy Mace showed Channel 4 the violation notice and pointed out all the differences they saw between the car caught on the red light camera and their vehicle.

The Mace's own an orange Dodge Charger and the car seen in the video running the red light is clearly not theirs. The car in the red light ticket video is a lighter colored car, and not even close to being orange.

The problem is that the license plate on the car running the red light and the one on Mace's dodge charger is identical.

"Not me, not him, not this car. But, they're saying the same tag," said Mace.

When Mace went to the courthouse to try and figure out what was going on, she said no one could help her.

"We're getting new tags next month, so that will be resolved but I may have to pay this ticket, well hopefully won't have to pay this ticket, but may have to go to court," said Mace.

On the back of the red light ticket there are three options: Pay the fine, ask for a hearing or get an affidavit saying you're not the driver.

The Clerk of Court Office told Mace it seems like she needs to go for a hearing to try and prove her innocence.

"I didn't do this, but I'd like for it not to happen to someone else in the future, and what they should do if this happens to them," said Mace.

There are still a lot of questions around the Mace's red light ticket. Channel 4 ran a public data search, using the Mace's license plate number. That search showed that the Mace's are the only residents in the state of Florida with that tag number.

Channel 4 contacted the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office about the Mace's red light camera ticket looking for answers to what could explain what the Mace's are calling a "duplicate plate."

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer told Channel 4 that they have not heard of this problem since installing the red light cameras in Jacksonville.

About the Author:

Kent Justice co-anchors News4Jax's 5 p.m., 10 and 11 p.m. newscasts weeknights and reports on government and politics. He also hosts "This Week in Jacksonville," Channel 4's hot topics and politics public affairs show each Sunday morning at 9 a.m.