Government lawyers are looking to convince local law authorities that the United States Postal Service is exempt from traffic laws, according to a Feb. 1 report by Cleveland.com. The move is opposed by some states rights and 10th Amendment advocates who view the federal government and its agencies as a body with limited powers that must still respect and observe local laws.
For years, Post Office delivery trucks had accumulated traffic tickets in East Cleveland as a result of dangerous driving practices such as switching several lanes at a time and sudden stopping. Local enforcement also captured the violations through installed traffic cameras that look for road transgressors.
Jennifer Breslin, senior litigation counsel for the Postal Service, sent a letter to local authorities in Cleveland invoking the U.S. Constitution. According to Breslin, USPS should not have to pay its traffic tickets.
"In providing mail service across the country, the Postal Service attempts to work within local and state laws and regulations, when feasible," wrote Breslin. That was the attorney's response to a summons for payment of the agency's traffic violations. She added, "as you are probably aware, the Postal Service enjoys federal immunity from state and local regulation."
The agency has nearly 550,000 employees and an annual budget exceeding $70 billion. In Cleveland, they want to avoid paying traffic fines that amount to less than $700, according to Fox News. You read that correctly; not seven hundred thousand dollars but $700. Less than a thousand bucks.
Breslin continued, "The Postal Service requires its employees to obey all traffic laws and rules while operating Postal Service vehicles. However, the state and/or local ordinances imposing penalties and fines cannot be enforced as against the Postal Service."
East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton said he thought that the Post Office have to obey traffic rules just like other motorists. "I was unaware that the Post Office doesn’t have to stop at red lights or obey the speed limit."
Last year, USPS - an independent agency of the federal government - suffered a record loss of $15.9 billion due to inefficiencies and changes in the industry. Each year, congress allocates over $70 billion to keep the agency afloat.
Most users prefer to send their packages via more competitive logistics companies such as FedEx and UPS, or send messages via email or text messages. Aside from paying bills, when was the last time you sent regular mail?
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