If you saw a postal truck speeding through a stop sign in a school zone, do you think a police officer would look the other way? Government lawyers representing the U.S. Postal Service sure thought so when they claimed traffic laws didn’t apply to them after receiving $700 in traffic citations in Ohio. When it came to that case, ATS attorney stated, “By attempting to hide behind an immunity claim, you are aiding and abetting your drivers in their blatant disregard for the traffic laws in East Cleveland, which have endangered other drivers, pedestrians and school children.”
So is it true? Are postal vehicles exempt or in this case “immune?” While some traffic violations are illegal, like speeding, some are mandatory to the job. When we look back to all the times we have witnessed a mail truck driving and delivering mail, we don’t bat an eye or think twice when we see them illegall
y parked or double parked in the road while making a delivery. In the case of immediate delivery, postal trucks are allowed to park in areas where other cars may not be allowed to park, as long as they are not blocking intersections, and emergency entrances and exits. Even UPS and FedEx trucks are given leeway when it comes to double parking and pulling over in no parking zones.
USPS workers in the past have been arrested for DUIs and even lewd behavior when caught driving naked. “Immunity” did not save them on those charges. Employees of the USPS are subject to obey local and federal traffic laws just like everyone else, although the USPS is not liable for any traffic citations occurred from its employees.
Rumor has it that if a police car chasing a criminal, a fire truck racing to a fire, and postal truck came to an intersection, that the postal truck would have the right of way. This so called accusation has been flying around for some time now, but is known to be false. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, postal trucks are to pull over and yield to the emergency and government vehicles just like other civilians.
A list of Federal Laws Applicable to the Postal Service can be found on their website within their company manual.