On June 15, history will be made as tightrope walker Nik Wallenda will attempt to cross Niagara Falls from the U.S. side to the Canadian side. In fact, the excitement over the event is growing to such an extent that people are lining up just to watch Wallenda practice in the parking lot of a casino in Niagara Falls, New York. Unfortunately for them, local police are also on the scene handing out traffic violations to those who are failing to comply with the city's parking ordinances.
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.
Many people who feel as if they have been unjustly issued parking tickets or speeding tickets elect to lodge some sort of informal protest designed to show the state or local government how they truly feel. Sometimes this takes the form of mailing a nasty letter with the ticket and payment, voicing their frustrations directly to a government official or simply refusing to pay the ticket altogether.
Ask any motorist here in New York about the city's vehicle traffic laws and propensity for handing out traffic violations, and you are more than likely going to get an earful. While this frustration is understandable, it may help to remember that things could definitely be worse.
Here in New York City, our vehicle traffic laws dictate that the statute of limitations on parking tickets is approximately eight years and three months. This means that the Parking Authority has a little over eight years to try to collect on outstanding parking tickets, likely employing a variety of methods -- warrants, towing, booting -- to do so.
If you live in New York City and own a car then you have more than likely taken part in the ritual of trying to decipher some of the signs outlining the city's arcane parking regulations. Sometimes you may have guessed right, while other times your powers of deduction may have failed you, resulting in an unwanted parking ticket/traffic violation.
Here in New York City, motorists are accustomed to the very real possibility that they can be issued a citation for any number of traffic violations on any given day, including speeding, parking in a restricted area, or driving with expired license tabs. However, there is one particular citation -- actually more of a public warning/humiliation -- that all New Yorkers universally dread: the window stickers attached by the Department of Sanitation scolding them for failing to move their cars during scheduled street cleanings.
In 2007, New York City officials implemented a new program targeting one of the most reviled traffic violations throughout the Five Boroughs: parking tickets.