Traffic agents may receive new informal, verbal guidelines

Motorists in the Bronx may soon have some more leeway thanks to informal guidelines the Police Department’s Traffic Enforcement Division may be putting into effect.

Due to an internal policy shift inside of the bureau, traffic agents are expected to receive verbal instructions requiring them to ask double-parked motorists in no-standing zones to move twice before issuing a ticket.

They may also be told not to ticket drivers who are clearly picking up or dropping off passengers, Inspector Michael Pilecki, who is in charge of traffic enforcement citywide, confirmed at a hearing at the City Council on Tuesday, April 5.

This also confirms what Community Board 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns was recently told in a meeting with the official in charge of the NYPD’s Bronx traffic enforcement division, George Montalvo.

“I initiated the meeting,” Kearns said. “We were told that agents have been told to exercise discretion.”

According to reports from the meeting presented to the Waterbury-LaSalle Civic Association and other civic associations, the changes may also include instructions to traffic agents to allow motorists parked at a broken meter the full time on the meter before a ticket is issued, a six-minute grace period for moving cars for alternate side of the street parking, and the ability to ask a traffic agent to call his or her supervisor if you believe you have been issued a summons in error.

“It is good that they are doing this, but it should be in writing,” said Mary Jane Musano, of the Waterbury LaSalle Community Association. Many motorists are concerned and angered after numerous incidents of traffic agents coming up to cars and issuing a ticket even if the motorists are discharing or picking up passengers, Musano said, which you are allowed three minutes by law to do in New York State, a source confirmed.

Councilman Jimmy Vacca, the chair of the City Council’s Transportation Committee, is also currently pushing forward two new pieces of legislation that may help motorists.

The first deals with allowing a grace period at muni-meters so that motorists will not be hit with tickets when they get out of their car to purchase time.

The other helps motorists avoid parking in places where there might be street closures by making this information available daily on the city’s website.

More from Around NYC