NYC putting the brakes on red light scofflaws

August 2, 2010 3:00:32 PM PDT
The party's over for anyone who's ignored those caught-on-camera red light violations in New York. There are $47 million worth of unpaid violations, and the cash-strapped city is going after them.

"The vast majority of new Yorkers pay their tickets, just like they pay their taxes, just like they pay everything else. It's the very small percentage of people who don't that we're looking for," Finance Commissioner David Frankel said.

Starting next month, the city will for the first time count red light camera fines with other parking violations.

That will push many drivers over the unpaid ticket threshold.

They will be subject to towing, though the finance commissioner warns enforcement won't end there.

"If you don't pay them, first thing we'll do is we're going to try to find your car and tow it. If we can't find your car, (then) the next time you try to register it, you'll not be able to. While all that's going on, we're going to try to find whatever other assets you have and collect out of that," Frankel said.

Some motorists called this just another grab for cash.

"The city's going to always find a way to get money," one driver said.

Others say the scofflaws should be made to pay.

"I think it's ridiculous because that puts a strain on other people," Maggie Ellis said.