2013-02-20 / Front Page

Warning: New Vehicle Ticketing Rules In Effect

By Liz Goff

City cops and traffic agents were recently ordered to immediately begin writing tickets for vehicles on streets where parking rules have been changed – despite a five-day grace period at the changed spots and notes on new parking signs indicating when the changes take effect, law enforcement sources said.

Cops and traffic agents were also recently ordered to stop just issuing tickets parked illegally on sidewalks throughout the city – and instead call immediately for a city tow truck to remove the vehicles.

“The new orders state that cops and traffic agents must call to have vehicles parked illegally on sidewalks towed to a city pound, after the car is issued a summons for the violation,” law enforcement sources said.

“Apparently, city officials feel that motorists have had enough warning not to park on sidewalks, so they are ramping up the penalty process,” the sources said. “In short, don’t park on a sidewalk, even if you remove the vehicle license plate, because they’ll come out and tow the vehicle away.”

Sources said owners of vehicles without license plates will have to go through a search process to verify ownership of the errant vehicle before it can be released from a city holding facility.

Department of Transportation officials have sent crews to the streets to post small notices on all newly changed parking signs indicating the date the revisions took place, the sources said.

But instructions in a recently released NYPD memo give police a green light to issue tickets, regardless of what the stickers say.

“Since it is the obligation of the motorist to offer an allowable defense, members of the service (police, traffic agents) may continue to issue summonses to vehicles that are illegally parked, even if the signage has a posted notice of a parking restriction change and it is within the five-day allowable period,” the August 23 memo states.

The memo also advises officers and traffic agents to “use discretion” and make special notation on summonses to help motorists challenge the tickets.

Sources said the officers would make the notation if they think the vehicle was parked legally in the space before the sign was changed, or if the vehicle was observed pulling into a space that was recently changed.

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