Transit Sam

Dear readers,

There is no area of New York City harder hit with parking placard abuse and counterfeit placards than Lower Manhattan. Truckers are forced to double park and end up ticketed and towed. Residents can’t get parking spaces. People are forced to walk through parked cars in safety zones (No standing areas set aside to increase visibility). Even hydrants are often blocked! Our streets are congested BECAUSE OF GOVERNMENT LAXITY on this issue.

That’s why I welcome New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plan for reducing parking placard abuse. First, only police will get “POLICE” placards. This is a great first step. Secondly, others will be assigned special “Official Business” placards with identification numbers tied to the license plate along with the agency a placard holder works for. I commend the Governor for doing this. I hope the city follows suits with “POLICE” placards for cops only.

In addition, I am urging swift passage by the City Council on the Garodnick bill (which would require scannable bar codes on all placards issued by NYC D.O.T. and NYPD). I am also calling on the Governor and Mayor to list all placard holders on a website as a way to ensure accountability. If that happens, then I’ll really be impressed.

Transit Sam

Dear Transit Sam,

I was wondering if you have a doctor’s note stating you can’t wear a seatbelt, can an officer still give you a ticket (I hurt my shoulder recently)? I tried to find a legal definition in the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Laws, but under the seatbelt law, it says nothing about a doctor’s note or excuse.

Brendan, Lower Manhattan

Dear Brendan,

An officer can still issue a summons, but there is a seatbelt exemption in the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Laws under Section 1229-c (7) that would warrant a dismissal. If you show the officer the note, he or she may use discretion. Here’s the law as follows: “The provisions of this section shall not apply to a passenger or operator with a physically disabling condition whose physical disability would prevent appropriate restraint in such safety belt provided such condition is duly certified by a physician…” I hope your injury heals soon, because wearing a seatbelt can be the difference between life and death.

Transit Sam

Have any questions about a parking ticket, traffic rules, public transportation, street cleaning rules or more? Want to know how to get a copy of my 2011 Parking Calendar? If so, send me an e-mail at TransitSam@downtownexpress.com or write to Transit Sam, 611 Broadway, Suite 415, New York, NY 10012.