You can beat a costly double parking ticket
(Post updated on July 1, 2021)
A passenger vehicle is prohibited from double parking, according to the Evil Empire. To be clear, a passenger vehicle can never, ever under any circumstances known to personkind, double park.
Meanwhile, I disagree, and so does the Parking Violation Bureau (See, “Got tickets? Your Guide to Parking Ticket Hearings” pages 10 and 14).
Do I have your attention?
Double parking is defined in the NYC Traffic Rules.
“Standing or parking on the roadway side of a vehicle stopped, standing or parked at the curb; in other words, ‘double parking.'”NYC Traffic rules, 4-08(f)(1)
In the same vein, the double parking rule allows a commercial vehicle
…to stand alongside a vehicle parked at the curb at such locations and during such hours that stopping, standing, and parking is not prohibited when expeditiously making pickups, deliveries, or service calls, provided that there is no unoccupied parking space or designated loading zone on either side of the street within 100 feet. However, double parking a commercial vehicle is not permitted in Midtown Manhattan 7A-7P on Monday through Saturday. Midtown is the area from 14 Street to 69 Street, between First Avenue and Eighth Avenue inclusive.
Wow, that’s a mouthful. But, we’re not done yet.
The N.Y.C. Traffic Rules, section 4-01, definitions of “standing” are important to know.
Don’t forget, the rule against double parking is a no standing rule.
“Standing” means the stopping of a vehicle, whether occupied or not, otherwise
than temporarily for the purpose of and while actually engaged in receiving or discharging
Ergo, your car is not standing while engaged in dropping off or picking up passengers. So, if the rule and double parking is a no standing rule, and you are actually engaged in receiving or discharging passengers, you cannot be standing and likewise, cannot be double parking.
How to beat a double parking ticket
First, as I mentioned earlier, there is a majority opinion about double parking a passenger vehicle. The Evil Empire says, “no, never!”
However, the minority opinion held by the Parking Violation Bureau that conducts your parking ticket hearings, and Larry (that’s me) recognizes that double parking is a no standing violation. But, you cannot violate a no standing or double parking rule while you stop temporarily to drop off or pick up a passenger and skedaddle (except between 7A-7P in Midtown- Monday through Saturday).
Easy, right?! So, why is it so difficult to beat a double parking ticket?
Let’s say you stop alongside a vehicle parked at the curb to allow your friend to run into a pizzeria to pick up a large, extra cheese and onion pizza. You are not violating the double parking rule while your friend is actually in the act of getting out of your car.
But, once your friend exited your car, you have to leave the area immediately. In other words, you cannot wait for your friend to return with the pizza without risking a ticket for double parking.
It’s the waiting part in this hypothetical that violates the rule.
It’s all in the proof you present
You can’t just work into court, or file your defense online and argue that you were dropping off a passenger. Spouting conclusions don’t work. Facts do.
You gotta have sufficient credible evidence to persuade a judge that was exactly what you were doing.
- Obtain a handwritten statement from your passenger
- DId your passenger purchase something for which he has a time stamped receipt?
- Was the passenger related?
- Present a credible story to the judge about the episode.
- Did the warrior enter your name on the ticket?
- You gotta prove you were in the car when the ticket was issued
- How can you prove that you were leaving the area? Was the motor on? Was the blinker on?
Commercial vehicles special exception
If you are operating a commercial vehicle, it’s an entirely different ballgame. You may stop, stand or park your vehicle alongside a vehicle parked by the curb as long as you are expeditiously making pickups, deliveries or service calls. However, please note the exceptions in Code 46 (Midtown exception; during hours where stopping, standing or parking are prohibited exception; and the unoccupied space exception).
Double parking FAQ
No. No. 1000 times No!
I’ve written a blog article posing the question of whether it is worth the risk to double park your chariot. I have beaten double-parking tickets by arguing that our driver stopped temporarily to expeditiously drop off or pick up a passenger to or at the curb, and immediately skedaddle.
But, it is a risky defense and not always a winning defense. Besides, losing costs $115!
If you gotta double park, please be sure you are dropping off or picking up a passenger. This will give you a chance to defeat the Evil Empire and avoid a costly ticket.
Don’t Be Scared of the Costly Double Parking Ticket
You can beat it if you learn how