I only make new parking ticket mistakes, how about you?
I attended a business meeting in NYC about six years ago and was astounded to find a vacant on-street parking space on the second time around the block. I walked about 10 steps to the muni-meter, paid the tariff, and mistakenly placed the muni-meter receipt face-down on the dashboard.
I finished the meeting, strolled back to my chariot, and observed a fierce-looking parking ticket eyeballing me from under the wiper. Yikes! I was charged with VC 38, “Failure to Display MM Receipt.” Mistake?: Of course! I was thinking about my meeting instead of performing the simple act of placing the MM receipt, face-up, on the dashboard (and to add insult to injury, I lost my fight).
I was charged with VC 38, “Failure to Display MM Receipt.” Mistake?: Of course! I was thinking about my meeting instead of performing the simple act of placing the MM receipt, face-up, on the dashboard (and to add insult to injury, I lost my fight).
That episode of “Larry in Parking Ticket Land” aired before the change in the law about VC38. Now, a parking ticket judge is required to dismiss a VC 38 upon submission of an MM receipt with a starting time within 5-minutes of the time of the violation.
With that said, here are some common parking ticket mistakes and how to fix ’em.
1. My new registration sticker was in the mail
That sad story is not a winning defense to an expired registration sticker. You risk a parking ticket every time you stop, stand, or park your chariot on the mean streets of NYC without a current registration sticker attached to the windshield, even if the Evil Empire is to blame.
2. The cop said it was a legal parking space and I still got a ticket
Please, don’t ask the butcher, baker, and candlestick maker about whether it’s safe to park in NYC…or a cop and warrior. If you do, have your checkbook handy
3. I thought a driveway ended a bus stop zone
I’m voting for this guy for Mayor! In the meantime, the existence of a driveway in a bus stop zone is like yellow paint on the curb (It don’t mean a thing). A driveway does not end or interrupt a bus stop zone. Remember, a bus stop begins at the sign and extends in the direction of the arrow until the next parking sign, or if none, the end of the block.
If you park in front of a driveway in a bus stop zone, you are eligible for two parking tickets. Yikes and double Yikes!
4. I unloaded my groceries to the curb in a no standing zone
Oh boy, not a smart move. You can stop temporarily and expeditiously unload the groceries to the curb in a no parking zone (as long as a passenger does the unloading and you stay seated behind the wheel), but you can’t unload personal property (your stuff) in a no standing zone.
In a no standing zone, you are only permitted to load and unload people to or from the curb…Not their stuff.
5. What do you mean I can’t park in front of a pedestrian ramp at a ‘T’ intersection with a marked crosswalk?
Correctamundo. You are permitted to park in front of a pedestrian ramp located on the long street of a ‘T’ intersection, as long as there isn’t a marked crosswalk, stop sign, or other traffic control devices regulating the roadway.
Be careful. It’s a $165 NYC parking ticket.
6. I left my new registration sticker on the dashboard
…then don’t leave you wallet with $65 to pay the fine on your dresser. The proper way to display a current registration sticker or inspection sticker is on the windshield. Period, end of story.
7. I took a photograph of my car parked in a legal parking space but the judge found me guilty, anyway
Here’s where 45 years of law helps. You’ve got to connect the photograph of your car to the legal parking space by including the plate number in the photograph. And, you must connect the photograph of your car and plate to the place of occurrence entered on the parking ticket. One way is by taking overlapping photographs of the entire block, starting with the traffic sign at the corner, and the front and back of all parking signs, and when possible some of the street number on the buildings.
Personally, I will generally grab a mix of images from the NYC Property Map, Google Map. and the NYC DOT Parking Regulations Map and include live photographs where appropriate.
I can’t tell you how many times I’m asked to appeal an evil decision when the judge correctly stated that a photograph was not persuasive because he can’t identify your car or the location where the photograph was taken.
My rule is that Aunt Tilly must be able to look at my photographs and say, “That’s your car parked in front of 2314 39th Street in Brooklyn.”
8. I parked in a no parking zone and only left the car unattended for two minutes
Ah yes, there are so many things we claim to do in two minutes, but one should never, ever be, leaving your chariot unattended in a no parking zone. You can stop, drop or pickup and go, as long as the driver remains seated behind the wheel, at all times (no bathroom breaks on my watch).
We all make mistakes that result in a costly parking ticket. But, please, never, ever pay an NYC parking ticket, “no questions asked.”
Remember, warriors and cops make mistakes too. And, if you find an omitted, misdescribed, or illegible required element on the ticket, even if you made the mistake of parking in an illegal space, you win, subject to presenting the proper proof, properly.
For example, If a warrior described the place of occurrence as the “ES of Slip Street_5 feet north of Baker’s Dozen Street,” make sure the warrior passed the class on how to read a compass. Maybe you’ll find that you parked on the South Side and not the East Side of Slip Street. If so, you win!
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