City Council passes Williams’ Parking Placard Bill

New York City Council on Tuesday passed legislation from Public Advocate, Jumaane D. Williams aimed at combating the use of fraudulent parking permits in New York City, alongside a package of eight other related measures.

The Public Advocate’s legislation, Intro 596-B, would increase the fine for use of unauthorized or fraudulent city-issued parking permits, or placards, from $250 to $500.

“Placard abuse is egregious across New York City, and its damaging impact can be seen on side streets and avenues in all five boroughs,” Williams said. “The effects of placard corruption are not just an inconvenience but a danger and a misuse of our roadways.

“While the city has been incredibly concerned with combatting fair evasion, placard abuse amounts to a significant theft in transportation services, and this is an effort to address that beyond just words,” he added. “Doubling the penalty for such blatant fraudulent actions will serve as a strong deterrent to this abuse.”

Williams said placards are intended for usage by qualifying staff of city agencies, non-profit organizations, people with disabilities and clergy members.

In addition to street congestion, he said abuses of that system result in blocking bus, pedestrian, fire hydrant and biking passages.

Williams said there have been over 8,000 complaints to 311 in the last two years, stating that the use of fraudulent placards is currently punishable with a fine of no less than $250.

This bill, part of a broader package the Council voted on Tuesday, would double the penalty for the offense, specifically targeting those who manufacture, purchase, or otherwise use fraudulent permits.

Williams said enforcement for this violation is primarily carried out by the New York Police Department (NYPD).

Among other bills in the package passed on Tuesday were measures that would create an electronic tracking system for valid parking permits, expand reporting and enforcement on illegal placard and city vehicle usage and penalize individuals who are misusing otherwise legitimate permits.

Williams noted that advocates, including those on social media, have long called for reform and enforcement on this issue “in a sustained campaign of sharing photographs and videos of prominent examples of placard abuse and illegal parking with elected officials and the public.”

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