PPA issues ticket to Pittsburgh woman who has never driven in Philly

A clerical error caused trouble for a woman after she got a ticket from the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

The problem is – she lives in Pittsburgh and has never driven through Philadelphia.

Across Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Parking Authority, better known as PPA, is patrolling city streets and issuing tickets.

"The only time I’ve ever been in Philly was for a connecting flight," says Caroline Ydstie, who received a ticket from PPA.

Which is weird since, according to the Philadelphia Parking Authority, Ydstie not only lives in Philadelphia, but is breaking traffic laws in the city.

"I never got the first notice. I got a second and third notice and it never told me what I did. When I saw Philadelphia Parking Authority, I assumed it was for a parking ticket and didn’t know it was for running a red light," says Ydstie.

Problem is Caroline lives more than 300 miles away in Pittsburgh.

So what’s going on?

Caroline’s PPA ticket claims she drives a white Ford and can be seen running a red light on Roosevelt Boulevard.

In reality, she drives a blue Honda with a nearly identical license plate, and the only difference is a flip of a "W" to an "M".

"They asked for my car registration, which proved that my license plate was not the license plate they were claiming I had," says Ydstie.

After a 6-month exchange with PennDOT and PPA, including a collection notice and a warning to boot the vehicle, the final advice was for Caroline to travel and fight it in Philadelphia court.

"We were like, that is completely nonsensical, because it’s like a 6-hour drive," says Ydstie and her husband Matt Walter.

And, how did this mistake happen?

The PPA did issue a statement, addressing the error, saying it was a "…license plate clerical input error that occurred when a "W" was inadvertently entered into the system instead of an "M."

So, what Philadelphian was this ticket really supposed to go to?

FOX 29’s Greg Payne stopped by the address on the ticket, but no response.

As for Caroline, the PPA says, "The clerical error has been rectified and Ms. Ydstie will not be responsible for the violation or any fine."

Walter says, "I feel like this is a huge win for the little guy. Also, a lot of times you hear people jokingly like ‘Oh, I’m going to take this to the nose,’ but that is a viable way to get things done if the government is doing something unfair to you."