By Kevin Deutsch
The NYPD is now legally required to crack down on placard abuse — a measure aimed at curbing years of rogue parking by city workers both active and retired, plus their families and friends.
A new placard abuse law passed by the City Council took effect Monday, requiring police and parking agents to ticket offenders twice: once for parking illegally, and once for abusing a parking placard.
The law also requires the ticket-writer to snap a photo of cited vehicles, their license plates, and placards, before sending them to the Department of Investigation for follow-up.
The crackdown is part of an effort by the de Blasio administration and City Council members to free up spaces for law abiding parkers.
The move follows decades in which the NYPD largely looked the other way when encountering improper placard use, some of it carried out by their off-duty brothers in blue, their families, and friends.
In the Bronx, placard abuse is rampant on and around 161st Street near the Bronx Hall of Justice, the Bronx Civil Courthouse, and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.
The NYPD, Department of Transportation, and Department of Education all dispense city-issued parking permits, commonly known as placards. DOT also issues placards to several dozen other agencies, to non-government workers, and to entities such as non-profit organizations, people with disabilities, and clergy members.
Unofficial, homemade placards are also widely used across the five boroughs.
City-issued, paper placards are scheduled to be eliminated completely by 2021, and replaced with a digital system relying on handheld scanners.