It’s a sign of the times.
Brooklynites and other New Yorkers are calling foul on the city’s erratic ticketing system which sometimes fines drivers for parking in spots where signage is not clearly visible, or missing all together.
To combat the bogus tickets, Councilmember Mark Treyger is introducing a new bill aimed at protecting drivers should they be ticketed for parking where the relevant signage is “damaged, worn, or improperly installed.”
“This is a common sense bill,” said Treyger. “I don’t believe New Yorkers should have to be held financially responsible when the city fails to perform maintenance on parking signs. The idea behind this legislation is to make sure that if New Yorkers are unfairly ticketed for violating a rule they could not have been aware of, they should not have to pay for it. This bill protects New Yorkers from undue financial burden, something I am striving to protect New Yorkers from whenever possible.”
Sign-related tickets can range anywhere from $45 to $180 depending on where in the city the violation is written up. For instance, tickets for violating an alternate-side parking or street cleaning sign will costs drivers $65 in Manhattan anywhere below 96th Street, while in “all other areas,” the offense will only set them back $45.
Similarly, with general no parking signs, drivers in most areas will pay $60 while those ticketed below 96th street will pay $5 more, according to the New York City Department of Finance.
Through the bill, however, drivers who receive a violation for parking in a restricted location where the signage is damaged, illegible or improperly installed will be able to defend themselves against the violation with photographic or other evidence that proves the illegibility of the sign.
Other city councilmembers are on board with the bill, and agree that drivers should not be penalized for illegible or improperly displayed signs.
“Drivers should not be penalized for disobeying rules that [they] could not reasonably be expected to know about,” agreed Councilmember David Greenfield. “If a parking sign is illegible or obscured from view, tickets should not be issued until the problem is remedied. To do otherwise is absurd.”
Treyger took to Facebook to elaborate on the “common sense legislation,” noting that “Residents pay taxes so that the City can perform regular maintenance. If the City fails to keep these signs in the proper condition, drivers should not have to be penalized.
“It isn’t the driver’s fault that the signs aren’t clear enough to read,” he continued, “so the driver shouldn’t be held responsible.”