In 2007, New York City officials implemented a new program targeting one of the most reviled traffic violations throughout the Five Boroughs: parking tickets.
Specifically, the program was designed to cut down on the steady accumulation of outstanding parking tickets by offering motorists significantly reduced fines in exchange for a promise not to challenge their parking ticket in traffic court.
The reduction in parking fines are currently as follows:
- Manhattan parking violations (i.e., alternate-side parking and expired meter violations) are reduced from $65 to $43 in exchange for a promise not to appeal
- Outer borough parking violations (i.e., alternate-side parking and expired meter violations) are reduced from $45 to $32 in exchange for a promise not to appeal
- Double parking fees are reduced from $115 to $90 in exchange for a promise not to appeal
Those motorists who elect to fight the parking ticket in traffic court and lose are required to pay the entire amount.
To date, the program has proved to be very popular - perhaps too popular - as officials say the number of motorists seeking to settle their parking tickets has risen from 680,000 in 2009 to 1.3 million in 2011, costing the city $50 million of dollars a year in revenue.
"The number of people requesting settlements has risen dramatically," said Finance Commissioner David Frankel. "As these numbers have increased, they begin to cost the city a significant amount of money as more and more people realize what is going on."
In light of this revelation, the city's Department of Finance has officially decided to end the program on January 30, 2012.
According to Frankel, the move, while perhaps unpopular, is necessary in today's economy.
"When I think about city services and revenue, this is not a place where the city should be losing another $50 million or so," he said. "This is one of those places where we just don't think that $50 million in lost revenue is worth what that means to other services in the city."
What are your thoughts on the cancelation of this program?
Stay tuned for further developments from our New York vehicle traffic law blog ...
If you have been issued a traffic violation, fight to keep your driving privileges and your insurance premiums as low as possible. Consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.
This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.
The New York Post, "You cannot park & $lide" Nov. 10, 2011