By Liz Goff, Queens Gazette
City cops and traffic agents are under order to immediately begin writing tickets for vehicles on streets where parking rules have been changed, despite a five-day grace period at the changed spots and notes on new parking signs indicating when the changes take effect, law enforcement sources said.
Department of Transportation officials have sent crews to the streets to post small notices on all newly changed parking signs indicating the date the revisions took place, the sources said. But instructions in a recently released NYPD memo give police a green light to issue tickets, regardless of what the stickers say.
“Since it is the obligation of the motorist to offer an allowable defense, members of the service (police, traffic agents) may continue to issue summonses to vehicles that are illegally parked, even if the signage has a posted notice of a parking restriction change and it is within the five-day allowable period,” the August 23 memo states.
The memo also advises officers and traffic agents to “use discretion” and make special notation on summonses to help motorists challenge the tickets.
Sources said the officers would make the notation if they think the vehicle was parked legally in the space before the sign was changed, or if the vehicle was observed pulling into a space that was recently changed.
Comments by reader: "That seems honestly un-American. Knowingly ticketing an innocent party, effectively creating a "guilty unless proven innocent" situation, while realizing that a significant percentage of those ticketed will just pay the fine rather than lose a day at work. I understand the concept of an "affirmative defense" that a criminal defendant must prove, such as self-defense, but all that assumes that the police believe he's guilty in the first place. That is not the case here. The NYPD's attitude is patently offensive."
Gotta make quotas!