Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New bill would require photo proof for some parking tickets

According to the Daily News, a new bill being proposed by Councilman James Vacca (D-Bronx) would require certain parking tickets to have photographic proof of the violation.  Those requiring photos would be parking near a fire hydrant or in a crosswalk, in a bus stop, a handicapped spot or bike lane or for failing to display a license plate.
"People have a right to insist that there be evidence of what they’re being charged with,” Vacca said. “Why have a he said-she said situation?”
If passed, the new regulation would begin as a one year pilot program.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Speed Cameras Catch Drivers in New York School Zones

According to the New York Post, the City's new speed camera program has given almost 12,000 tickets in its first three months.  The $50 tickets are being issued to drivers caught going 10+ over the speed limit and do not result in points on their license. Most of the tickets were issued on westbound Queens Boulevard between 58th and 53rd streets in Woodside, near PS 11 and IS 125
While there are 20 speed cameras authorized for use in the state, the numbers come from only five cameras in use between 7:00 AM and 4:10PM (during school hours, per state law).  The DOT won't reveal the locations of the cameras, and plans to use all 20 cameras throughout the city.

Monday, April 7, 2014

East Harlem residents hit with 353% parking rate increase

courtesy of the Daily News

According to the Daily News, drivers parking at the Thomas Jefferson Houses in East Harlem will see a 353% parking rate hike, which will go into effect next month.  The 150 parking spots located outside the development at 115 St., will go from $75 per month to $340 for residents.  Seniors and non-tenants will also pay massive increases for parking- from $60 to $272 for seniors, and from $150 to $650 for non-tenants. 
The New York City Housing Authority already earns $2.4 million from its parking lots per year, and expects that amount to reach $3.4 million once all of its lots are converted to reserved spaces.  The NYCHA spokeswoman Zodet Negron says, “The revenue generated from the parking fees is and will be used to cover the rising maintenance costs of the development."


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

NYC Councilman proposes big change to Alternate Side Parking rules

NYC alternate side parking

According to CBS New York, Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, D-Washington Heights/Inwood, is proposing changes to the city's Alternate Side Parking Rules that would allow cars to park on a street again after the sweepers have passed through.  Under the current rules, drivers are not permitted to park on the side of the street scheduled for cleaning until the entire time allotted for sweeping (generally 1-2 hours) has ended. 
The changes would help ease drivers' current routines of moving their cars to the other side of the street and or double parking or idling, until they are permitted to park again.  The legislation would also help to reduce the number of parking tickets, which amounted to $70 million last year for the 1.2 million alternate side tickets alone. 
The Department of Sanitation is voicing concerns regarding how drivers and law enforcement would know if the sweepers had already cleaned a street.  The Department said it “would fully review and evaluate the impact on street cleaning since mechanical brooms often have to revisit streets where cars have not moved.”

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

NYC booted over 50,000 vehicles in 2013

Courtesy of the Daily News

According to the Daily News, the New York City Department of Finance booted 53,729 vehicles last year, as the boot program was expanded to include all five boroughs.  Boots are ordered for vehicles that have been verified by city sheriffs as having over $350 in judgment parking tickets.  Revenue from the program brought the city $49.9 million in 2013, a slight increase from the year before. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Parking tickets increase in NYC during snowy winter

Despite Alternate Side Parking regulations being suspended for inclement weather throughout this winter, the number of parking tickets being issued actually increased in three NYC boroughs over 2013. 
According to the New York Post, although tickets were down 2.4% citywide, they are up in Queens, Brooklyn, and The Bronx.  Tickets increased 8.4% in the Bronx, while Manhattan saw a drop of 16%.  When asked about the statistics, the NYPD did not respond.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Flashing high beams to warn of speed trap is ruled free speech

A federal judge in St. Louis ruled that flashing your high beams to warn other drivers of an upcoming speed trap is a protected form of free speech.
In 2012 Michael Elli received a $1000 ticket for flashing his lights to warn drivers of a speed trap, which was a violation of an Ellisville, MO ordinance. 
United States District Court Judge Henry E. Autrey ruled Monday that Ellisville's "ordinance forbidding any sort of flashing of lights by vehicles other than buses directly contradicts Missouri Department of Revenue (which licenses vehicles in the state) advice that lights should be flashed to signal emergencies. More importantly, people have the right to communicate with each other on the road."  
Defendant suggested that flashing head lamps might be illegal interference with a police  investigation; however, the expressive conduct at issue sends a message to bring one’s driving in conformity with the law—whether it be by slowing down, turning on one’s own headlamps at dusk or in the rain, or proceeding with caution... Even assuming, arguendo, that Plaintiff or another driver is communicating a message that one should slow down because a speed trap is ahead and discovery or apprehension is impending, that conduct is not illegal.

Elli is represented by the ACLU of Missouri.  The group aims to have the injunction made permanent. 

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