Posted: Mar 25, 2014 10:30 PM by Ryan Naquin
Updated: Mar 26, 2014 6:10 AM
BATON ROUGE - Some drivers were given a ticket in error and paid their fines are entitled to a refund.
More than 6000 people were hit with the $300 tickets from the video monitoring company, FXS, and the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office.
There's no telling how many were given out incorrectly, according to a judge's interpretation of the law.
"It could have contested. I know it gives you the right to do all of that. But it's a hassle to take off work and all that. So I didn't," Keith Horcasitas said.
He didn't contest his ticket, but he didn't break the law either.
FXS and the sheriff's office were issuing tickets to anyone who passed the stop arm without a median between them and the stopped bus. That's the law according to an East Baton Rouge ordinance.
But state law allows drivers to pass with a median and on a five-lane highway going in the opposite direction when the center turning lane turns left both ways.
"I madder now," Horcasitas said. "Now that I know I shouldn't have paid it and they took it."
When the News 2 Investigative Unit requested an interview with the school district, we were forwarded to the sheriff's office.
The sheriff's office forwarded us to its attorney who said it was a mix-up with the interpretation of the law.
An FXS representative issued a statement saying "Our office has been telling all violators that call that we have set aside funds to refund their money if they request a hearing and the adjudication officer rules they did not violate the law."
The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's office says deputies who look over the pictures before sending tickets are now enforcing the state law not the local one.
There is a bill in the legislature that FXS is lobbying for to match state law with the East Baton Rouge ordinance.
Those who believe they've been giving a ticket in error can contact the FXS help line at 1-866-408-6704 or the parish attorney's office at 225-389-3114.