Most New Yorkers who own cars are very familiar with the wide range of emotions that accompany a parking ticket -- shock, anger, and ultimately acceptance. While many people elect to simply pay the ticket, there are plenty of others who choose to flout the city's vehicle traffic laws by refusing to pay. In fact, there are some whose refusal to pay parking tickets has resulted in the accumulation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in outstanding fines.
As it turns out, those who are refusing to pay these parking tickets aren't regular NYC motorists, but rather corporations whose company vehicles have amassed thousands of tickets throughout the city.
In fact, a recent audit by the Office of the New York City Comptroller determined that corporations owe the city over $9 million in unpaid parking tickets.
Who then are some of the biggest offenders?
According to the audit, the following corporations owe the most money in unpaid parking tickets since April:
- Federal Express: Just under $1 million
- Verizon: Just under $500,000
- Frito-Lay: Over $200,000
- Anheuser-Busch: $169,000
"People are outraged by the constant ticket blitzes they are facing [yet] the City of New York lets these big tickets off the hook," said City Comptroller John Liu.
Interestingly, the Department of Finance has a deal in place in which commercial fleets are offered substantial discounts on parking tickets in exchange for waiving the right to challenge them and agreeing to pay the fine within 15 days.
In light of these recent audit results, Liu is now calling for the suspension of the discount program for those companies that have failed to live up their end of the bargain. Doing so, he argues, would clear the city to deny vehicle registrations, tow vehicles and seek civil judgments to collect the amounts owed.
For their part, the Department of Finance is vigorously disputing the findings of the audit.
"The audit is not accurate. The fact is Finance has collected 99 percent of the revenue associated with fines issued to companies enrolled in this program over the past two years," said the department. "Finance is already going above and beyond what the comptroller has recommended to continue to improve on our strong collection rates."
It should be very interesting to see what transpires ...
Stay tuned for updates 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.