A new bill introduced in the New York City Council would give citizens cash for reporting drivers who park illegally, including placarded and police vehicles. The bill would raise fines from $115 to $175 with the citizen pocketing 25 percent of the fine, should the vehicle owner pay or be found guilty of the violation.
“This bill would create a new violation and civil penalty for hazardous obstruction by a vehicle of a bicycle lane, bus lane when bus lane restrictions are in effect, sidewalk, crosswalk, or fire hydrant when such vehicle is located within a radial distance of 1,320 feet of a school building, entrance, or exit. The proposed legislation imposes a $175 penalty for each such violation. Such violations would be returnable to the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH). The proposed legislation would require the Department of Transportation (DOT) to create a civilian reporting program where civilians may submit complaints and supporting evidence for alleged violations to DOT. Where DOT brings a proceeding before OATH using evidence or information submitted by a civilian complainant, OATH would award the complainant 25 percent of any proceeds collected because of such proceeding.”
A bill such as this became inevitable once the city started the absurd bounty system on idling trucks and buses. New York City has a rather robust law enforcement arm, which is only growing due to cameras and hyper specific task forces. Creating a system where citizens profit at the expense of fellow citizens, businesses, and public employees is a dark road, especially as actual crime in the city (and in the subways) skyrockets. Speaking of public employees, this bill becomes even more bizarre. Citizens are supposed to write parking tickets to NYPD vehicles, the NYPD will then either fight the complaint at OATH and/or pay public money back to the city, with a private citizen getting a cut.
It must also be noted that documents submitted by citizens, especially as hearings are conducted online are easily altered or manipulated, and remember, these are not Good Samaritans writing these tickets, there is a profit motive here.
This new neighbor ratting out neighbor bill was introduced by City Council Member Stephen T. Levin and is co-sponsored by Council Speaker (and thankfully no longer mayoral candidate) Corey Johnson. It is grotesque that people believe neighbors ratting out neighbors will lead to a good future for NYC.