Last Updated on June 23, 2021 by Lawrence Berezin
Do you know these parking ticket definitions?
There are times when the definition of words and phrases contained in the Highway & Traffic Rules of NYC are essential to beating or avoiding an NYC parking ticket. Miriam Webster Dictionary defines the meaning of “definition:”
1 –An act of determining; specifically: the formal proclamation of a Roman Catholic dogma
2 a: A statement expressing the essential nature of something
b: A statement of the meaning of a word or word group or a sign or symbol <dictionary definitions>
c: A product of defining
3 –The action or process of stating the meaning of a word or word group
4 a: The action or the power of describing, explaining, or making definite and clear <the definition of a telescope> <her comic genius is beyond definition>
b (1): Clarity of visual presentation: distinctness of outline or detail <improve the definition of an image> (2): clarity especially of musical sound in reproduction
c: Sharp demarcation of outlines or limits <a jacket with distinct waist definition>
Let’s take a look at the “definitions” provided to the driving community of NYC by the Evil Empire and decide whether they fit the definition of a “definition.”
What in heaven’s name is a commercial vehicle?
Welp, here it goes…
“Commercial vehicle. (i) For purposes of parking, standing and stopping rules, a vehicle shall not be deemed a commercial vehicle or a truck unless:
(A) It bears commercial plates; and
(B) It is permanently altered by having all seats and seat fittings, except the front seats, removed to facilitate the transportation of property, except that for vehicles designed with a passenger cab and a cargo area separated by a partition, the seating capacity within the cab shall not be considered in determining whether the vehicle is properly altered; and
(C) It displays the registrants’ name and addresses permanently affixed in characters at least three inches high on both sides of the vehicle, with such display being in a color contrasting with that of the vehicle and placed approximately midway vertically on doors or side panels.
(ii) For the purposes of rules other than parking, stopping and standing rules, a vehicle designed, maintained, or used primarily for the transportation of property, or for the provision of commercial services and bearing commercial plates shall be deemed a commercial vehicle. (iii) Vehicles bearing commercial or equivalent registration plates from other states or countries shall not be deemed trucks or commercial vehicles unless they are permanently altered and marked as required in (i) (B) and (C) of this definition, above.”
Wow, that’s a muddy mouthful. First of all:
- The Evil Empire defines a “commercial vehicle” by couching the definition in terms of a negative; and,
- A commercial vehicle has to have “commercial plates” (that’s easy enough); and,
- The vehicle must be “permanently altered.” Is that like “spaying/neutering your pet? Nope, it means you must remove the seats AND the seat fittings. You can’t just fold down the rear seat of an SUV. Do you know what “seat fittings” are? I’m exhausted already, and there’s much more…
You may wish to check out this blog post for more tips on how to avoid an NYC parking ticket for an unaltered commercial vehicle.
Does the definition of “unmarked crosswalk” make sense to you?
Is an “unmarked crosswalk” the same as “The Invisible Man?” Who remembers the wonderful, very old T.V. show, “Topper?” (see below*). I know what a “marked crosswalk” is, but what in heavens’ name is an “unmarked crosswalk?” Seek and you shall find:
“(i) Unmarked crosswalk. That part of a roadway, other than a marked crosswalk, which is included within the extensions of the sidewalk lines between opposite sides of the roadway at an intersection, provided that (A) the roadway crosses through the intersection rather than ending at the intersection, and/or (B) all traffic on the opposing roadway is controlled by a traffic control device.”
Yea right. Crystal clear. Keep in mind you can be issued a parking ticket for parking in an “unmarked crosswalk.” Topper loves this parking rule.
How about “Driveway?”
The definition of “driveway” should be easy, right? We all know what a driveway looks like; but does perception equal reality in the case of a “driveway?” A “driveway” is:
“Driveway. Every entrance or exit authorized pursuant to applicable law and used by vehicular traffic to or from lands or buildings abutting a roadway.”
That was a simple, clear, concise? O.K. champ, can you tell the difference between a “driveway,” “curb cut,” and a “pedestrian ramp?” You can…great. But, why are parking ticket warriors issuing parking tickets for blocking a driveway, when the driveway is permanently blocked? Or, issuing a parking ticket for blocking a pedestrian ramp, when it is a legal “curb cut?” or a “driveway.” Why isn’t there a definition for “pedestrian ramp” or “curb cut” contained in the definitions section of 4-01?
A definition should provide clarity, and clearly and concisely describe the essential nature of a thing. Unfortunately, the definitions provided by the Evil Empire are old, need some revising, and should include more “things.” I recommend that the definitions provide clarity about the difference between a “driveway,” “curb cut,” and a “pedestrian ramp.” I know I’m getting greedy after many beautiful, new, clear, parking signs were recently installed in Manhattan.
Once we clearly and concisely distinguish these three terms, how about passing a law specifically describing the proper proof to submit to a parking ticket judge when a member of the driving public got a scam, corrupt, parking ticket for parking in front of a legal “curb cut.”
The pedestrian ramp law was amended in December 2008, and fraudulent parking tickets are still being issued for this non-parking violations. And, every single parking ticket judge requires different evidence to prove the “pedestrian ramp” is merely a legal “curb cut.”
It is time to add some consistency and clarity to the proper proof necessary to beat a scam pedestrian ramp parking ticket.