CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — When a Cheektowaga family received a school bus violation from outside the area, from a place they had never been to or heard of, they ended up contacting News 4’s Call 4 Action.
Nickol and Christopher Reynolds have been fighting a school bus citation from Suffolk County for a year and a half — yes that long.
It comes from the Suffolk County School Bus program claiming Christopher’s car illegally passed a school bus 400 miles away in Mastic, N.Y., on Long Island.
“I don’t think we’ve ever been there, I’ve never heard of it before,” Nickol said.
And, they were stunned to get the violation demanding they pay $250 or respond contesting the violation, or else they could be subjected to a fee.
“And it wasn’t our car, we’re like eight hours away from where it happened and my husband was also at work,” Nickol said.
She went to Alertbus.com to learn more about the citation and discovered the actual car that went passed the school bus was the same make and model and had a similar license plate — but an eight appears to be a three and the car in the image is a different design and has bumper stickers. The Reynolds’ car doesn’t.
They’ve been fighting the violation through the pandemic as COVID-19 cases fluctuated, affecting government operations.
“I kept trying to get someone live on the phone, they weren’t answering my letters, I just couldn’t get anyone to listen,” Nickol said.
Its been a big hassle, because virtual court dates have come up, which would require Christopher to take time off from work.
“He works everyday sometimes 12 days in a row, he doesn’t get days off during the week so he would’ve had to miss out almost the same amount of pay about $250, somewhere around there if he would do the Zoom meeting,” Nickol said.
News 4 contacted numerous departments in Suffolk County. A spokesperson for the County Executive’s Office said they would look into the situation. After a review, the Reynolds received a letter informing them the citation has been voided.
The letter states: “After review by administration, it has been determined that the citation should be administratively voided.” No further explanation is given.
“You guys were the only one who cared to help,” Nickol said, “The only reason I feel it was resolved was because you guys got involved.”
The Reynolds are very happy to put this behind them.
“I was so happy, aggravated, because we had to go through all of it and the only reason I feel it was resolved was because you guys got involved, I feel like a lot of people are probably just paying the ticket because they’re getting ignored,” Nickol said, “They didn’t want anything to do with me, they wouldn’t listen to anything until I got a hold of you guys.”
If you have a Call 4 Action complaint you can call our hotline 716-879-4900.
Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.