The New York City Department of Finance (DOF) is looking to make some changes to fines related to bus lane tickets by creating a clear graduating penalty scale. Cameras film vehicles that drive, park, or stand in bus lanes and issue tickets ranging from $115-$150. NYPD officer may issue tickets as well, which is a 2-point violation. Vehicles other than buses may enter a bus lane:
- To quickly pickup or drop off a passenger
- To make a delivery if it is done in hours when the bus lane is NOT in effect
- On the way to access curbside parking
- In order to make a righthanded turn
- To avoid an obstacle
- To comply with the direction of a law enforcement officer
The new law will create a graduating scale by reducing the maximum allowable penalty from $115 to $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense within a twelve-month period, $150 for a third offense within a twelve-month period, $200 for a fourth offense within a twelve-month period and $250 for each subsequent offense within a twelve-month period. Just to clarify the twelve-month period is defined as the twelve months going backwards from the date of the most recent offense.
Improving bus service and speeds is a priority for New York City so it stands to reason that this proposed change, like the 14th Street Pilot is seen as a piece to that puzzle. Like many such parking related changes, especially those with graduated fines, the biggest concern for commercial firms relate to the leasing companies. Unfortunately, many leasing companies don’t find out about parking tickets till well after the fact. A company may be staring down massive fines, possibly even booted/towed vehicles before they knew there was a problem in the first place.
The public hearing will be held on September 9that 11AM. Comments may be submitted until then.
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