FOX 8 Defenders: Ticketed for someone else's vehicle

Published: May. 15, 2012 at 7:52 PM CDT|Updated: May. 15, 2012 at 9:30 PM CDT
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"I got a notice that I violated one of the red lights through a traffic camera system," Caleb Frey tells us.

Frey's violation notice came from the City of New Orleans Photo Safety Program.   It states that on or about March 4 of this year, a Sunday at 10:45 in the morning, Frey "disregarded the red light" on Canal Street at Carrollton Avenue in Mid-City.

Frey, who lives in St. Bernard, says he normally works the night shift, and thought there was no way the ticket could be correct.

"I was definitely sleeping," he tells FOX 8 Defenders.  "I wouldn't have been in the city at that time."

But the ticket spells out his name and vehicle information -- a 2008 Honda Accord, two-door.  It also lists his Vehicle Identification Number and Louisiana license plate VUN210.

But one glance at the vehicle pictured on the ticket, and you will see it's not even close to a Honda Accord.

Traffic camera video captured what appears to be a Nissan Xterra – a full-size four-door SUV -- turning during a red light.

"I saw that that wasn't my vehicle, and then I thought, well maybe they just accidentally typed in wrong license plate number, what not," Frey recalls.  "And I went and looked at my license plate and sure enough they're both identical, you know."

Frey insists he does not own a Nissan Xterra.  "No, I don't.  Nobody in my family has one."

Frey showed us his proof of insurance on his Honda Accord.  "And there's my registration, which clearly shows it's in my name and everything matches everything on the ticket," Frey says.  "Unfortunately the picture on the ticket does not."

After the FOX 8 Defenders jumped on the case, the city told us, "The citation has been dismissed… the plate was identified incorrectly as a Louisiana plate."

But when we took a closer look at the ticket, the Xterra does in fact have a Louisiana plate.  It's the middle letter on the license plate that is the problem.

Frey's license plate is VUN210; the Xterra's plate has an M.

"I would think somebody's looking through them, you know, before they send them out," Frey says.  "I wonder if anybody does because you would notice that, you know, the registration shows a two-door car and the picture shows a four-door SUV."

Somebody is supposed to review each ticket, but this one did not get enough attention.

Caleb Frey is just glad it's all cleared up, and he is off the hook for a red light violation he was never responsible for in the first place.

If you have a consumer concern, call the FOX 8 Defenders at 1-877-670-6397, or go to