The City Council is again looking to placate scofflaw drivers. This time, Council Member David Greenfield of Brooklyn wants to limit cases in which the city can tow vehicles belonging to drivers who have racked up hundreds of dollars in unpaid parking fines. DNAinfo has the story:
“Any driver who has been towed knows that a trip to the impound lot can be one of the most frustrating experiences in New York City,” Greenfield said.
Under the new legislation, instead of towing, vehicles would be locked with devices called “boots,” which prevent drivers from moving until they call in and pay their outstanding fines, plus a $50 processing fee. Once paid, drivers receive a code that allows them to unlock the boot and drive away, as long as they return the boot.
Cars left booted for 72 hours could be towed under the bill, as could cars parked in tow zones, bus stops, crosswalks, fire hydrants or driveways.
Greenfield said the bill comes after numerous complaints from residents who accused the city of unfairly targeting them to make cash.
Drivers whose cars are towed under the current system have to schlep to an impound lot and then pay $185 in towing and $20 in storage a day, in addition to tickets, Greenfield said.
“This bill would give drivers a chance to pay their debts to the city without wasting an entire day trying to retrieve their vehicle,” he said. “It’s a simple and fair way for the city to enforce its parking laws without excessively punishing drivers.”
Retrieving a car from impound has got to be a frustrating ordeal, which is pretty much the point. Not that the boot itself isn’t a deterrent, but if nothing else this is further evidence of a City Council preoccupied with making life easier for motorists who believe laws should not apply to them.
Of course this is old hat for Greenfield, whose obsession with loosening parking regulations seemingly knows no bounds, and who a year ago went online to rant about the city clearing snow for safer walking and biking. Yet when reckless drivers inflict serious injury and death in his district, Greenfield has nothing to say.
Greenfield’s bill has been referred to the transportation committee, with support from council members including Brad Lander, Tish James, Lew Fidler, Robert Jackson and Ydanis Rodriguez.