NYC parking ticket mistakes that’ll kill ya
I was ruminating about all the parking ticket mistakes I’ve made parking in NYC. For example, I placed a muni- meter receipt face down on the dashboard of my car, got a parking ticket, fought it, and LOST! Yup, the only fight I ever lost for a failure to display a muni- meter receipt was my own.
So…I figured I’d write about some pretty common mistakes made by the wonderful members of our driving community. The names have been changed to protect the guilty (have you made the same or similar mistakes?).
Mistakes to avoid when parking in NYC
- Parking 12 feet from a fire hydrant because the rule in your state prohibits parking within 10 feet of a fire hydrant. You guessed the rule was the same in NYC
- Your car was registered in the great state of Pennsylvania and you figured NYC would never come looking for you to pay the 45 NYC parking tickets you accumulated (a few years ago, NY and Penn entered into a reciprocity agreement. Boy did I get a bunch of calls from Pa residents)
- You swear you were only 4 minutes late moving your car on ASP days
- Martin Luther King’s birthday is a major legal holiday for parking in NYC because it’s a federal holiday…Oops. (MLK is only a legal holiday for parking in NYC)
- You pay all of your parking tickets “no questions asked” because a police officer or parking ticket warrior would never issue an unjust parking ticket
- You pay all of your parking tickets “no questions asked” because it’s a printed parking ticket and there’s never any mistakes on a printed parking ticket…Oops. (there are absolutely mistakes living on the front of a printed parking ticket)
- You pay all of your parking tickets “no questions asked” because you’re so busy and so rich, you simply don’t have the time to fight it. Anyway, what’s the big deal about paying a $115 parking ticket, even if you have a defense? C’mon man.
- You park in front of a fire hydrant at night, remain seated behind the wheel of your car, with the keys in the ignition, waiting to move upon request to do so. Except for this defense only exists between sunrise and sunset
- You park your car in a no parking zone to run into a store for, “just a few minutes.” But you leave a note on your dashboard for the parking ticket warrior to let her know where you are, and you’ll be right back. (True story!)
- You look for a red painted curb to signal the length of a bus stop zone because that’s what you do in San Francisco
- You double park on the unrestricted side of the street on ASP days because you have a great relationship with the parking ticket warriors in your neighborhood, and they always let you double park because they realize how difficult it is to find a vacant space
- No parking and no standing rules are the same. (No they’re not)
- You can park in front of your house (in a no parking zone) to unload groceries from your car and bring them into your home
- You can stop temporarily to drop off your Aunt Tilly in a no standing zone, and wait until she walks safely through the front door of her home
- You can never, ever park in front of a curb cut in NYC, regardless of the location. (Wrong!)
- Your car cannot be towed unless there is a parking sign warning you that you parked in a “tow-away” zone (The Easter Bunny is alive and well and lives on your block)
The best mistake I ever make is a “new” mistake. The way you fix these parking ticket blunders is to learn the parking rules, regulations, laws, and defenses. You don’t need to learn ’em all, but some you just need to know. For example, the:
- Bus stop rule
- Fire hydrant rule
- No standing- No parking rules
- Pedestrian ramp rule
- All NYC is a tow away zone law. No notice required
If you are a visitor to NYC, don’t make the mistake of thinking the parking rules in your state apply to parking in NYC. This error will cost you dearly (think Bill Buckner).