Proposed Legislation Encourages New Yorkers to Report Car-Idling Neighbors

Proposed legislation in New York City encourages people to tattle on drivers who are idling their vehicles, letting them collect half of the fine if they submit video of drivers caught in the act.

If the bill is passed, it would be the first time New Yorkers could make cash by reporting others.

Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, a Manhattan Democrat, introduced the proposal Wednesday. She said that the bill would help combat a problem that is rarely enforced.

Fines for idling would also go up under the bill. They're currently between $220 and $1,000 but would rise to $350 to $1,500 if the bill is passed.

Those looking reporting others for idling would have to take a training class offered by the Department of Environmental Protection. Only then could they submit videos of the offenders and their license plates.

"We're not looking for people to get into fisticuffs over this. They'll be appropriately trained, it'll not be face-to-face confrontations at all, simply a videotaping of somebody's license," Rosenthal said. 

New York City has some of the strictest anti-idling laws in the country: three minutes maximum on the street, and one minute in front of a school. But last year, only 200 tickets were issued. 

Studies have found that cars and trucks idling in the city spew 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, the Daily News reports.

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