Tix blitz fix

Ticket to ride: Yelena and Yevgvemiy Vasilenko are relieved to know that they will only have to pay one of the 13 tickets they have received for driving in the B44 Select bus lane since March.
The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

The city is backing down after sending out a flurry of long-delayed traffic violations.

Drivers suddenly began receiving a wave of summonses they accumulated in the three months since the city activated surveillance cameras to ticket those driving in the dedicated bus lanes created for the new B44 Select Bus Service.

When locals realized that they had racked up as much as $7,000 in fines after enforcement began, but before the first notice arrived in the mail, they reached out to Councilman Chaim Deutsch (D–Sheepshead Bay). The pol appealed to the Department of Transportation to void the tardy tickets.

“It is common sense they should do it,” said Deutsch. “Getting summonses three months later is not normal.”

Fortunately for the drivers, “common sense” prevailed, and the city has agreed to dismiss all but drivers’ first violation from March 17 to July 25 — and drivers who have already paid multiple tickets can expect a refund.

“Recognizing this was the city’s newest SBS route, we understand it might take time for motorists to adjust to the regulations,” said department spokesman Scott Gastel. “For those who recently received multiple violations from the spring, DOT will dismiss all but the first violation.”

Locals facing thousands of dollars in fines are thrilled by the ticket dismissal. One resident, whose family got hit with 13 tickets and expected even more, said it seems too good to be true.

“Wow — I can’t even believe it,” said Yelena Vasilenko, a Sheepshead Bay resident. “It is like a movie.”

David Oliel of Coney Island expected nearly $7,000 in tickets and had already paid $700, but now he’s jumping for joy — literally.

“I was jumping,” said Oliel of the moments after he heard about the reprieve. “I started screaming — it is a big break.”

Now, instead of worrying about thousands of dollars of debt, Oliel is planning how he will spend the money he thought was going towards tickets.

“My son — soon, he is getting married,” said Oliel. “We’re going to use the money for his wedding.”

Deutsch first pointed out the issue to the city last week, and he said he was pleased by the swift reaction.

“When I brought this injustice to the attention of the Department of Finance and the Department of Transportation, I was impressed by the quick positive response I received,” he said.

The dedicated lanes for the B44 Select Bus Service were created last November, but enforcement didn’t begin until March 17 — four months later — leaving drivers lots of time to develop bad habits. Some motorists complained that the long delay between starting enforcement and sending the tickets unfairly lulled them into thinking that they could continue to use the bus lanes consequence-free.

“If I got the ticket a week later — or even a month later — I’d stop right away,” said Aron Rosenbaum of Williamsburg, who received 25 tickets — at one point getting eight tickets in one day.

Rosenbaum said he’s relieved to hear about the city’s promise to dismiss most of his tickets. But he is going to remain on guard until the violations are cleared from his record.

“I’m not as nervous as I was last week,” said Rosenbaum. “When I see it, I’ll believe it — I don’t want to get disappoint­ed.”

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow her
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Rob from Greenpoint says:
And watch, when these bad drivers get another ticket for breaking the law again, they will whine once more that "it wasn't fair".
July 31, 2014, 4:15 am
ty from pps says:
So, these lovely citizens like Mr. Rosenbaum need to receive a ticket before they stop breaking the law?! Nice. I wonder what other laws he breaks that he'd be happy to stop if only someone would fine or arrest him in a timely manner? I mean, how else would he know he was breaking the law?

In this case, I totally sympathize. The redish-brown paint on the road, the big letters on the road that say "BUS ONLY" and the big signs that say "Buses Only" are really hard to understand. We saw from the last article there were all sorts of people that couldn't figure it out. Of course, it would be inappropriate to say they are clearly unqualified to operate a motor vehicle. That would be unfair. Why should I be expected to understand and obey street signs when I drive?!
July 31, 2014, 8:13 am
ty from pps says:
Vanessa Ogle --
I am glad to see you put "common sense" in quotation marks above. What counts as common sense for our elected officials and our fellow residents is shocking.
July 31, 2014, 8:15 am
T from Brooklyn Heights says:
There's a little thing called the Constitution. It's principles have been applied to the states. As such, one must receive NOTICE (in this case in the form of a ticket in the mail). If folks are receiving notice 3 months after a violation in a flurry, that is a problem. Not the problem of the driver--but the state who has decided to contract with private parties to constantly watch us AND use technology to hose NY-ers down for revenue.
July 31, 2014, 1:18 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
The Constitution doesn't say that 3 months is too long a time to receive a ticket. Of all the arguments, yours is by far the worst.
July 31, 2014, 1:57 pm
Fairness says:
You can only get one parking ticket a day for the same spot and if you were speeding for even an hour down a highway you get one speeding ticket not one for each minute.
July 31, 2014, 2:31 pm
T from Brooklyn Heights says:
Mike, you clearly need a lesson in deductive reasoning.

The Constitution provides for NOTICE of an offense. These cameras were put up with no notice. It would be like giving people tickets for running invisible speed lights. Hence why some folks reported getting numerous tickets, from the same camera, multiple times a day. There was no NOTICE (constitutionally required) so as to allow the drivers to adjust behavior.

Of course the Constitution does not say that 3 months is too long a time to receive a ticket. The Constitution explicitly mention a lot of things -- doesn't mean those things not mentioned don't exist.
July 31, 2014, 2:42 pm
Bip from CrownTownJulieBrown says:
If ya can't pay da fine, don't do da crime. Hommies.
July 31, 2014, 2:44 pm
Oliver from Sunset Park says:
T - If the huge painted lane and numerous signs aren't enough NOTICE for you, then there is not enough notice on earth to help you.

This was not some sort of secret offensive that caught people off guard. They knew they were doing something wrong, they just didn't know that anyone was paying attention.
July 31, 2014, 4:30 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Try again, T. Your argument is still by far the stupidest I've seen on this topic and the Constitution doesn't enter into it.

Oliver gave you too much courtesy by setting you straight, but at least I don't have to bother.
July 31, 2014, 5:48 pm
JAY from nyc says:
T stop fronting that you are a lawyer, much less a constitutional lawyer. Notice is effected when the law is passed, that is generally the only notice required, ignorance of the passage of the law is no excuse or defense for violating the law. or to say it in Latin, ignorantia legis neminem excusat.
Ignorance of the law as a defense is pretty much limited in two circumstances 1) The law has either not been published or not reasonably made known to the defendant, as in the Lambert v. California case where a local municipal law made it a crime for a felon to be in town for five days without registering with the police; and
2) The defendant acts in reasonable reliance on an official statement, such as the mayor telling people driving in the bus lane rules are suspended for a holiday. That has not happened in this case, so this defense is out.
So on to the other defenses, In this case, the law against driving in "bus only" lanes has clearly been published, so that defense is out.
Finally, a defendant would have it reasonably made to known to him/her the existence of the law by the multiple huge a** signs and painted pavement saying BUS ONLY" which are clearly visible and not obscured, so that defense is out as well.
The camera is merely one of the methods of enforcing the law, and no notice of how a law is enforced is required. To take your argument T, would be to say the police could not do undercover operations because the criminals don't know they are talking to the police, and that is clearly not what the law or case law says.
Finally T there are alot of people running around these days trying to say what the Constituion is, say or does, and who do so with ZERO basis in reality, and unfortunately people are so poorly educated that those people have a following, and this is dangerous to our nation.
As such T, if you are going to mention the Constitution, do us all, and the country, a favor and do a bit of research first before making an argument that the constitution says or does something that it plainly does not. If nothing else it will save you from looking like a complete dolt.
July 31, 2014, 6:25 pm
ty from pps says:
I think it's settled that T is just ridiculous.

Now, Fairness... what are you talking about? If you are speeding down the highway, you could and would get a speeding ticket at any and *all* points there is enforcements. If that is in the form of speed cameras, you would get a speeding ticket from ALL of them you passed.

By the way, the law (and this isn't a "practice" or "habit") for parking tickets is that you can get a parking ticket every 6 hours. So, if you in a "No Standing" zone, you could get a ticket 4 times per day and you could be towed away at any point and ALSO have to pay the towing fee.
July 31, 2014, 9:50 pm
ty from pps says:
I'm sorry -- that was Boston. NYC actually doesn't have a time limit. Parking officers can issue a ticket as often as they want.... but judges will usually dismiss tickets issued within 1-3 hours of the previous one. So, I was wrong. You could get 8 to 12 tickets per day.
July 31, 2014, 10 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I can see some here can dish criticism, but can't seem to take it. If a fine is given months after it was originally to be given, it should just be stopped. In reality, if it was so important, it would have been given already rather than waiting so long. As for the cameras, they were barely given any oversight, and were placed without notifying the public. As a matter of fact, giving notice will only make more follow the rules hence no revenue, so that they will be seen as net money losers. On a side note, enough with the personal attacks on those that don't agree with you, and I tend to find that not only unprofessional, but also acting childish as well.
Aug. 1, 2014, 7:06 pm
ty from pps says:
I know no one is probably reading these comments anymore, but I want to go on record...

"As for the cameras, they were barely given any oversight, and were placed without notifying the public."

Tal -- That was an extremely stupid comment, even coming from you. And you set the bar very low.
Aug. 5, 2014, 8 am

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: