Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Vallone, Jr. vs. the "orange blizzard"
Ticketed-off pol: Slam brakes on summons-crazy agents
By Angela Montefinise, NY Post
It's meter maids gone wild.
Ticket-happy traffic agents are slapping Big Apple drivers with "unfair" summonses, according to a lawmaker who wants to put the brakes on the orange blizzard.
"Over the last six months, complaints about traffic summonses have surpassed anything else in my office," said City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.
"The way traffic agents are enforcing the law is absolutely out of control."
One complaint came from John Panagiotopoulos, 32, a Queens cafe owner hit with a $135 fine for double parking -- while he was waiting for another car to pull away from a meter.
"I was not blocking traffic," Panagiotopoulos said. "I was in the car, the car was on. All of a sudden, this agent came in front of my car and extended his arm to give me a ticket. It was very aggressive and really unfair."
Adding insult to injury, he lost the spot.
"My customers are experiencing the same thing," said Panagiotopoulos, who paid the ticket. "They pull over for a few seconds to pick up food and they get a $120 ticket. It's hurting business, it's hurting the people."
Vallone is considering legislation that would give drivers a grace period to briefly pull into no-standing areas. He called the legislation "a last resort."