New Yorkers will no longer be able to cut deals when it comes to parking tickets.
The city’s Department of Finance plans to scrap a program that has allowed New Yorkers to pay a reduced parking fine if they agree to not bring their cases to court, reports The New York Post.
The program, implemented in 2007 to help limit the backlog of outstanding tickets, cut fines for Manhattan alternate-side parking and expired-meter violations by $22 to $43 for those who promised not to appeal.
Drivers in the outer boroughs could save $15 on those infractions, which would cost $32 if they agreed not to appeal.
Motorists who appeal and lose are required to be the entire fine of $65 and $45 for those violations in Manhattan and the outer boroughs, respectively.
While the program, in theory, aimed to be a time and therefore money saver for the city, Finance Commissioner David Frankel says now that rogue motorists have caught on to the perk, the program now costs the Big Apple some big bucks.
Eliminating it could save the city $50 million a year, Frankel said.
“The number of people requesting settlements has risen dramatically,” he told the Post, adding that the number of motorists who settled doubled in two years to 1.3 million. “As these numbers have increased, they begin to cost the city a significant amount of money as more and more people realize what is going on.”
However, at least one city legislator thinks New Yorkers already pay enough.
City Council Transportation Committee Chairman James Vacca told the Post New Yorkers already shell out more than $600 million in traffic summonses annually and eliminating the current system would amount to removing “even the most limited of fairness programs.”
The program is set to end January 30.