Thursday, 22 Oct 2020

NYC ticket blitz will cost motorists over $40M, budget shows

Drivers, beware!

New York City’s newly adopted budget includes a planned ticket blitz that’s expected to cost motorists more than $40 million during the coming months.

The NYPD is going to reassign 75 workers in its Traffic Enforcement Division to ticket-writing duties to counter the fiscal effects of the coronavirus crisis, a City Council source told The Post on Wednesday.

During fiscal 2020, which ended Tuesday, about $590 million worth of summonses were issued, the source said.

That number was projected to dip to $550 million during fiscal 2021 due to the pandemic, but beefing up enforcement should boost it to at least $592 million, the source said, adding revenue could reach as high as $596 million.

The $88.1 billion budget for fiscal 2021 that council members adopted early Wednesday contains an obscure provision that lists a $42 million “Cut/Shift” in revenue from 165 traffic enforcement agents among a total $1 billion reduction in the NYPD’s annual operating expenses.

Prior to the council’s budget vote, Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) — who said he was “disappointed” the NYPD cuts weren’t deeper — criticized inclusion of the figure.

“I don’t count that as savings. That was put in, that’s going to additional tickets for cars that are blocking bus lanes, where buses can’t get through; or double-parking in a bike lane; or blocking a fire hydrant,” he said.

“They’re counting that as a cut. That’s not a cut. That’s some additional revenue that they’re finding.”

Johnson added: “This isn’t $1 billion and I’m not going to pretend that it is. It’s important to be honest.”

During a remote briefing from City Hall on Wednesday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio defended both the looming ticket blitz and the way it’s included in the budget.

“The fact is, the reason someone gets a ticket is if they’re doing something wrong,” he said.

“We don’t want fake revenue. We do want people to follow the rules. And so, what’s clear is, we still have real problems in terms of traffic enforcement, of parking enforcement [in] areas where people are not following the laws and that creates a problem for their fellow New Yorkers.”

Hizzoner added: “So, we will do enforcement only where it’s appropriate and ensure that people understand there are consequences.”

He did not specify where that would be.

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