Are parking ticket tips more valuable than bitcoin?
I was thinking. If a Martian landed in Manhattan and rented a car to drive around NYC, what parking ticket tips would I share with her? Or, if a guy from Idaho wanted to drive around New York City, what basic information will he need to survive?
Remember, there are 99 parking violations, myriad parking laws, and rules, and about 2300 armed and dangerous Parking Ticket Warriors ready to issue parking tickets. How do we save the Martian and the guy from Idaho from financial ruin?
Here are some VIT’s (very important tips)
1. All NYC is a tow away zone
I think these seven little words were the first words I uttered when I started fighting parking tickets. They are shocking and costly because most sensible people expect to see a sign alerting them to a tow away zone. Nope. All you’ll see is an empty space where your car was parked.
-Keep $185 tucked away in your wallet
2. Your car can get booted and towed two hours later for the same parking violation
If a genie granted me one wish, it would be to eliminate this barbaric practice of booting and towing for the same parking violation. It is unconscionable without any legitimate basis except to take your hard-earned dough twice.
3. A bus stop starts at the bus stop sign and extends in the direction of the arrow(s) until the next parking sign or the end of the block
I’m sure she doesn’t have this cockamamie bus stop rule on Mars but it catches s a bunch of unsuspecting drivers by surprise. It doesn’t matter that you:
- Parked far enough away for a bus to fit in the bus stop zone
- You only got out of your car for a minute to help your Aunt Tilly with her suitcase. A bus stop is a no standing zone. You can’t drop off or pick up a person and their belongings. Only the person. You get to keep their stuff
- The bus could have driven around your car. Sorry, you can’t block a bus entering or leaving the bus stop zone, Ms. Martian and Idaho guy
- The warrior or cop could have asked me to move. C’mon man!
4. You cannot park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
I know on Mars you are permitted to park within 10 feet of a fire hydrant but this is New York City not Mars.
The fire hydrant rule, 4-08(e)(2), is better known for its exceptions. For example:
- A passenger vehicle
- Car park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
- From sunrise to sunset
- If a licensed driver
- With the car keys
- Remains seated behind the wheel
- (Not your 16-year-old son sleeping in the back seat)
5. You cannot park in a safety zone
Or, alongside the lines on the roadway marking off a safety zone.
I said 5 parking ticket tips but it could have been 500. The point is you’ve got to start somewhere and should learn the basics. In addition to the 5 tips, you need to know:
- The difference between standing and parking. You can stop temporarily to expeditiously drop off or pick up a passenger not their luggage or groceries at the curb and leave immediately in a no standing zone.
- But in a no parking zone, you can pick up or drop off a passenger and their luggage or groceries
- You can’t leave your car unattended, even for an NY minute, when you stop temporarily in a no standing or no parking zone. No bathroom breaks, no running into Starbucks, no running upstairs to retrieve the wallet you forgot. Don’t do it!
- You are guilty as charged if any portion of your chariot touches a the crosswalk lines or extends ever so slighting into the next, illegal parking zone (bumper is sufficient)
- A Warrior or Cop will never, ever give you the correct answer to, “Is it safe to park here?” Don’t ask
What I’m driving at is that we are all going to get parking tickets.
It is a fact of life if you drive in NYC. You’re not going to walk to the other end of a block in the pouring rain to make sure there isn’t a parking sign restricting parking in an empty parking space.
More importantly, what are you going to do after you get the inevitable parking ticket? Pay it, “no questions asked?” A horrible, costly decision.
No, I urge you to take some time and do your homework. Is there an omitted, misdescribed, or illegible required element that entitles you to a dismissal? Or, can you prove that you did stop temporarily to expeditiously drop off a passenger, and leave the area immediately? If so, you win.
Don’t feed the beast with fines you don’t owe. When you’re right, fight! The money you save will be your own.
P.S. Do you know the difference between a stop line and a crosswalk line? Can you park in between a stop line and crosswalk line? If you’re not sure about the answers to these questions, you may want to check out this blog post.