Last Updated on November 30, 2014 by Lawrence Berezin
These 3 recurring parking ticket mistakes will cost you a bunch of money
The Evil Empire is betting against the NYC driving public, and winning big time. Approximately 6M parking tickets are paid “no questions asked” every year. In other words, lazy wins.
I urge you to carefully examine your parking ticket for omitted, misdescribed, or illegible required elements. If you find one or more, you win upon application. If none, check out whether you have a substantive defense.
Here are some common, recurring mistakes that wonderful members of the driving public are making, and how to fix ’em.
1. Fire hydrant parking ticket diversionary tactic
The Evil Empire uses a smoke screen to divert your attention from the real fight. Let’s say Joe parked his chariot about 12 feet away from a fire hydrant (bad Joe) thinking he’s driving an invisible car and the warriors won’t notice. Lo and behold, when Joe returns to his car, he finds a $115 parking ticket glaring up at him from under the wiper.
Joe carefully examined the front of the parking ticket for defects, and noticed the parking ticket warrior entered Joe’s distance from the pump as “6 feet.”
Joe is euphoric because the warrior incorrectly certified that Joe parked 6 feet from the pump, and Joe believes he can beat the fire hydrant parking ticket. Did Joe discover a winning defense?
How to fix it: The biggest NO in the world. A common, costly, mistake I hear from “soon to be morose” members of the driving public is that a warrior entered the wrong distance they parked from the fire hydrant.
Your burden of proof is to persuade a judge that you parked your car more than 15 feet from the fire hydrant (or raise one of the exceptions to the fire hydrant rule). It matters not that the warrior entered the incorrect distance. The only mandate for the warrior to establish a prima facie case is to enter a number (and, any number will do).
2. The secret length of a bus stop
I am sad to report that I receive frequent calls from members of the driving public explaining that they parked “far enough away” from the bus stop to avoid a parking ticket. And, to their amazement, they still got one!
How to fix it: “Far enough away” is not a defense to a bus stop parking violation. A bus stop begins at the bus stop sign and extends in the direction of the arrow(s) on the sign until the next parking sign, or the end of the block.
The length of a bus stop varies from block to block. You can enter a bus stop zone temporarily to expeditiously drop off or pick up a person, but not her stuff, and skedaddle.
I recommend avoiding the perils of a bus stop zone whenever possible. You’re going to get a parking ticket and it’s a tough one to beat.
3. What the H— is a safety zone?
A “safety zone” is defined in the NYC Traffic Rules as, well as… a safety zone. And, the rule states you can’t stand between a safety zone and the adjacent curb. That clears it up, right?! Wrong.
A safety zone kind of sneaks up on you with a bunch of longish diagonal lines. You’ll generally find a safety zone occupying great parking real estate that entices you to try to subdivide the space and park your car.
How to fix it: If you see more than 2 diagonal lines, think safety zone and search for another parking space. A safety zone is a no standing violation, so you can drop off or pick up a passenger and leave the safety zone immediately.
NYC parking rules are the opposite of intuitive. Toss your common sense out of the window when trying to make sense of the rules.
Do your homework, ask an expert (not your butcher, baker, or candle stick maker), and never (ever) pay a parking ticket, “no questions asked!”
(Larry’s special reminder…Black Friday is not a parking holiday in NYC. ASP rules are in effect, you must feed the muni meters, and obey all parking signs).[Tweet “On Black Friday ASP rules are in effect, you must feed the muni meters, and obey all parking signs”]