Postal Service lawyer actually claimed USPS drivers immune from local traffic laws

Not kidding. Postal Service drivers get moving violations while delivering mail. They get caught by the City of East Cleveland’s traffic cameras and were issued multiple citations for speeding or running through red lights. The attorney for the Post Office says “screw that, we’re not paying.”

The lawyer is claiming Executive Branch immunity. In other words, since the president’s motorcade does not have to obey local and state traffic regulations, neither does a post office employee. (That’s a goofy read, but I like it.) To be more precise, cities are welcome to issue traffic citations to the post office, but they are just going to ignore them and they certainly don’t have to pay the fines.

The Postal Service requires its employees to obey all traffic laws and rules while operation Postal Service business activities. However, the state and/or local ordinances imposing penalties and fines cannot be enforced as against the Postal Service, and there is no statutory basis for doing so, Accordingly, the Postal Service will not pay the civile penalties assessed against it in the above-referenced Notices of Liability.

You can read more about the story here. George Hittner – the attorney who works for ATS, the contractor hired by the city – responded…

We suggest that you transfer the liability for the infractions to the USPS drivers who incurred them, and instruct them that pursuant to Ohio law, as well as the USPS guidelines, the infractions are their responsibility. If you choose to ignore the infractions, penalties and fines will continue to accumulate.

My guess is this is where the federal union for the post office employees will step in. Certainly providing the names of the drivers who committed the infractions will violate some sort of union rule. Wondering if they were punished internally by the USPS? Me too.

9 replies
  1. JollyRoger
    JollyRoger says:

    My local letter carried was a nut- he would refuse to deliver mail if there was an extension cord across my driveway (it should be taped down so he wouldn’t trip over it!) or if some weeds were near the mailbox (he could get poison ivy!), or if there was a dusting of snow!; so I called his boss, and his boss was very hostile and insisted that he come right over “and settle this right now!”.??Even my box was at the wrong height according to postal regulations!?I hope they privatize the whole system because their customer service skills are a joke!

  2. kateinmaine
    kateinmaine says:

    i am unaware of what would constitute a ‘postal emergency’, so can’t imagine the need for high speed, intersection breach driving.? parking tickets i understand.? as to invoking ‘executive privilege’, i’d be more inclined to accept that as an argument if the president actually used the postal service for a motorcade.? another example of win-win gov’t downsizing–fast, safe delivery of mail and the president.

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