Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield introduced a bill in the City Council today that would prohibit the city from towing cars for parking violations.
“Any driver who has been towed knows that a trip to the impound lot can be one of the most frustrating experiences in New York City. This bill would give drivers a chance to pay their debts to the city without wasting an entire day trying to retrieve their vehicle. What’s more it would save driver’s at least $150 in towing and storage fees. It’s a simple and fair way for the city to enforce its parking laws without excessively punishing drivers,” Councilman Greenfield said in a statement about the bill.
Councilman Greenfield proposes the city use “boot” devices to penalize parking violations instead of towing. Cars would still be towed if they remained in an illegal spot for over 72 hours.
“The legislation would require that the city ‘boot’ the vehicle. Upon returning to a booted vehicle, the driver would call a phone number displayed on the boot to pay the outstanding fines plus a $50 administrative fee. In return the driver would receive a code to unlock the device which the driver would return to avoid an additional fee,” read the press release announcing the bill.
So far, nine Council members have signed on to support Councilman Greenfield’s anti-towing legislation. It has also received the support of the Automobile Association of America.
“In our opinion, immobilizing a vehicle by placing a wheel lock or boot gives drivers the benefit of the doubt when it comes to paying parking tickets,” said Jeffrey Frediani of AAA New York. ”Giving drivers a 72-hour window to pay their tickets before incurring the very high cost of a tow will allow drivers who may have unknowingly accumulated violations the opportunity to pay their fines without the hassle and substantial cost associated with a tow.”
This isn’t the first time Councilman Greenfield has fought against the city’s parking penalties. In April, Councilman Greenfield introduced legislation to ban parking violation stickers that are placed on the window’s of illegally parked cars.