At a hearing of the New York City Council’s Committee on Public Safety yesterday, Councilman David Greenfield used the opportunity to question the NYPD’s Chief of Transportation James Tuller about the widespread belief that New York City Traffic Enforcement Agents have a quota of parking tickets that they are required to issue. Tuller supervises all of the Traffic Enforcement Agents in New York City.
At the hearing, which took place in the New York City Council chamber, Councilman Greenfield asked Chief Tuller what percentage of tickets issued by the NYPD are related to parking infractions and what percentage of tickets are moving violations. Although Chief Tuller was unsure of the breakdown, he did concede that the City issues far more parking tickets than moving violations.
In response, Greenfield noted that the overwhelming majority of residents of his Brooklyn council district would prefer that the NYPD Traffic Division focus on keeping the city streets safe by concentrating on moving violations such as speeding and reckless driving, rather than primarily focusing on issuing parking tickets to non-moving vehicles that pose no immediate danger to drivers and pedestrians.
Tuller responded that due to budgetary considerations, the NYPD was unable to hire more police officers to enforce moving violations. Greenfield stated that he strongly supports the NYPD and the hiring of more police officers. Greenfield suggested that the NYPD consider cutting the large number of the traffic enforcement agents and using those savings to hire more police officers who would issue moving violations instead. Finally, when Greenfield questioned Tuller about the high number of traffic tickets that are issued in his council district and asked whether there was a “quota,” Tuller responded by insisting that there is no quota.
In light of the high rate of parking tickets issued to his Brooklyn constituents, Greenfield said that he was skeptical of the response and insisted that the NYPD seriously consider his recommendation to shift their focus from Traffic Enforcement Agents to police officers.
“Quota or no quota, the fact remains that the number of parking tickets issued in my council district is unusually high. Something must be done to put an end to this practice of nickel and diming New Yorkers through excessive parking tickets,” said Greenfield. “The NYPD does an outstanding job protecting New Yorkers and keeping all of us safe. I am a big fan of the NYPD. However, even fans can be critical. I believe that the department must reassess its protocol and reduce the number of parking tickets in our community immediately.”
Greenfield is currently working on introducing legislation that would curtail the ability of Traffic Enforcement Agents to issue tickets for such things as double-parking in order to drop off and pick up passengers.
Greenfield is the first Councilman from the 44th District in many years to serve on the important Committee on Public Safety.
(YWN Desk – NYC)