When John Zullo stopped his car to clean his eyeglasses, a traffic agent issued him a $115 double-parking ticket. The elderly Morris Park resident fought the summons in court, and on April 29 an administrative judge threw out the ticket.
The 79-year-old Zullo stopped in front of 3540 Rochambeau Avenue on April 17 for a few seconds to clean his glasses as he looked for parking near Montefiore Medical Center’s Moses Campus, where his wife is undergoing treatment for Leukemia. He was issued a ticket by a traffic agent who he said, “did not care” that he had merely stopped to clean his glasses.
Zullo reached out to Councilman Jimmy Vacca who encouraged him to take the traffic ticket to court. It seemed to be part of a trend of hastily issued tickets traffic enforcement agents have recently written, in what many believe is a ploy to raise revenue for the city.
“The ticket was dismissed because the traffic agent was supposed to ask for my drivers license before he put my name on the ticket, which he did not do,” Zullo said. “I was surprised that the ticket was dismissed.”
Zullo said that while Vacca encouraged him to challenge the ticket, when he got the hearing room a Department of Motor Vehicles employee urged him to take a reduced fine, rather than fight the ticket.
“I was told that the penalty would be reduced, but if I lost the case, I would have to pay the full amount,” Zullo said. “The judge just said that the ticket was wrongly issued because I was in the car and my driver’s license was needed to write the ticket. The judge also asked if my wife was at Montefiore, and I told her yes and showed her proof that she has been there since April 2.”
“I am so happy for him, and this shows that people just have to fight these tickets,” Vacca said. “The city sees people who are hesitant to take the time and effort to fight these kind of tickets, and they continue to issue voluminous tickets to raise revenue. If they don’t fight, the tickets will continue to be a cash cow for the city.
“This gentleman did not deserve this ticket, and I think that in this case at least that justice was served,” Vacca stated.