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Former Traffic Court Judge Serving New York and New Jersey

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Tips for steering clear of parking tickets

There is no question that the traffic violation that New Yorkers despise the most is the parking ticket. These citations often seem to come out of nowhere and can quickly add up, creating a potential financial and legal nightmare. Adding to this hatred is the belief of many people that parking tickets are now being issued in far greater numbers to make up for the city's dwindling cash reserves.

While it's true that New York City issues the most parking tickets of any major U.S. city -- more than 10 million a year -- both city officials and so-called parking advocates argue that parking enforcement in general is about more than just ticket quotas and filling the city's coffers.

"Ticketing isn't designed to be punitive. It's about fairness and turnover," said Isaiah Mouw, the general manager of Republic Parking System. "Successful downtowns depend on available parking to allow customers to patronize shops and restaurants and get where they want to go."

Interestingly, the International Parking Institute has compiled a few basic tips for motorists on how to avoid parking tickets:

  • Read the signs carefully: If you are parking in an area that is unfamiliar to you, experts advise taking the time to look for any "no parking" signs or signs announcing other parking restrictions. Keep in mind that these signs may be posted further down the block, so it may be worthwhile to walk a few hundred feet in each direction. Similarly, they recommend that you make sure that you aren't too far into the street or blocking a crosswalk, fire hydrant, etc.
  • Use a garage: If you will be busy for more than a few hours, experts advise that you consider putting your car in a parking garage. You may be able to find a better rate and will save yourself the need to feed the meter every few hours.
  • Explore payment options: Interestingly, experts recommend that you consider using electronic payment options such as credit/debit cards or even phone apps when parking at a meter. The reason? This can sometimes save you money and some phone apps will even send a text message when your meter time is near its expiration.
  • Carry change: Experts advise that not all meters have converted to electronic payment methods, so having a roll of quarters in your car can prove helpful.
  • Feed the meter: Experts point out that many people are issued parking tickets because they simply park their cars with the flashers on and dart into a location for a few minutes. Not surprisingly, flashing lights don't deter the parking authority. Consequently, experts advise that you just pay the meter and spare yourself a potential headache.

Stay tuned for more 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.

Source:

Forbes, "How to avoid getting a parking ticket," Jim Gorzelany, April 24, 2012

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