Call it a sign of progress!
City legislators passed a law on Tuesday that gives drivers a new defense against parking violations by outlining clear guidelines for submitting photos of faded, damaged, or missing signs when fighting tickets.
Coney Island Councilman Mark Treyger — who introduced the bill that passed with 47 votes in favor and one abstention — said current rules that govern parking disputes are ill-defined when it comes to inadequate signage, and leave drivers at a disadvantage in situations where the city is often to blame.
“Residents don’t know what the parking regulation is, and get hit with a ticket due to the city’s lack of maintenance,” said Treyger. “My bill will resolve a frustration for residents that receive a parking ticket when there’s illegible signage.”
To claim legal defense, drivers will have to send in photos showing both sides of the sign, as well as pictures of the street to prove that no other signage was present or legible.
Motorists are already allowed to contest parking tickets due to illegible signage, but the process is murky, according to Maria Henderson, a spokeswoman for Treyger, who said that, while the Department of Finance has the power to shoot down tickets where drivers offered busted signs as evidence, the standards for such a defense are left unexplained, leading to puzzling and seemingly arbitrary decisions.
Treyger hopes that, in addition to establishing better standards for fighting parking tickets, his bill will put pressure on Transit officials to replace damaged markings.
“DOT must maintain its infrastructure and make sure parking signage is available and clear,” said Treyger. “It is a common sense solution to holding the DOT responsible for upholding the infrastructure of our city.”
Drivers can start bombarding the city with pictures of broken signs when Treyger’s new law takes effect in November.