HUNDREDS of residents of Palma face having to pay hefty traffic fines from previous years because, they claim, the company in charge of delivering them did not do its job properly.
More than 500 people affected by the issue have come together in groups on the messaging service Telegram in a bid to bring legal action against the local council. CI Postal, the delivery company hired by the council, is to blame for the situation, they claim.
In the capital of the Balearic Island of Mallorca, as in other areas of Spain, traffic fines are reduced when paid on receipt. But the longer they go without being settled, the higher the final cost for the infraction.
If they continue to go unpaid, action is taken via the Tax Agency to recover the debt and people can even see their assets or pensions frozen in order to ensure payment.
This is what has happened to some of the victims in Palma. Raúl Lodeiro, for example, has 18 speeding fines of €330 pending, as well as one for €900, according to Spanish daily El País. They were all from the same camera, on Pompeu Fabra street in Palma.
Lodeiro paid the first two that arrived immediately, but then he received six at the same time. When he went to the city council they told him he had another 10 pending.
“If the first one had arrived on time, I would have paid it with the discount and obviously I wouldn’t have gone back to that street,” he told El País.
The victims claim that CI Postal delivery workers do not make proper efforts to deliver the letters with the fines, and in fact earlier this year several workers were arrested by the police accused of faking signatures to make it look as if they had delivered notifications when they hadn’t.
What’s more, early last month a local resident recorded a video in which hundreds of unopened letters from energy companies, banks or phone operators had been dumped in a storm drain.
At the same time, employees of CI Postal have complained about being overworked and suffering very precarious conditions, having to deliver more than a thousand letters a day and covering any costs themselves.
For now, however, the city council is refusing to reissue the fines for their initial amounts and there are no plans to terminate the contract with CI Postal.
This means that victims such as one woman in the Telegram group, who has found out that she owes €10,000, will have continue their battle in the hope of a better outcome.
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