As reported this week in the NY Post, effective September 13, 2010, New York City Marshals will be allowed to tow any vehicle with a combined $350 owed for parking tickets and red-light camera summonses. Previously, fines owed for red-light camera convictions were not added to a motorist’s parking violations records and, therefore, couldn’t put a motorist over the $350 threshold for towing. Now, red light camera violations dating back to 2003 will be added to a driver’s total.
The new rules are designed to help collect the roughly 664,000 unpaid red-light camera tickets which represent $47 million in lost revenue for the city.
Most people plead guilty and pay their red light camera tickets because they are near-impossible to beat. Two photographs depict your car approaching and then crossing the intersection while the light is in the red phase.
Although these tickets carry only a $50 fine (a moving violation red light traffic ticket starts at $250 and carries 3 points), in 2009, the city generated $32.3 million from 150 hidden red light cameras.