New York is converting its population to willing snitches, paying a percentage of paid fines to citizens willing to rat out idling trucks and cars.
We all do it: sit in our car and wait for a while, or keep it in my park while we run inside the coffee shop for a latte. But idling trucks in New York City are a huge no-no and people are starting to get slapped with fines in an effort to discourage polluting the air.
According to the plan, any commercial vehicle left unattended in the New York City area, or idling, for more than three minutes, reported using time-stamped photos or videos with the Department of Environmental Protection, would award a 25 percent award based on the fine amount.
The program has already received more than 200 citizen complaints, with a paltry amount receiving awards.
Move It or Lose It
In a recent New York Post story, one New Yorker, lawyer Tevin Grant, filed six complaints, receive no compensation. It is unclear if this outstanding citizen will ever get paid.
“This is not something I’m doing as part of the DEP,” said Grant. “I have to file the complaints as a citizen because it is a citizen complaint.”
The 41-year-old Queens resident said his mission is to stop the pollution-making habit simply by keeping his community in the know.
“Diesel pollution is a real problem in New York and everywhere,” said Grant. “They’ve linked increased pollution to early death.”
Local councilwoman Helen Rosenthal (D-Upper West Side) was the main sponsor of the reward provisions. Rosenthal introduced this measure and these provisions three years ago and things took in effect in February of this year.
“Vehicle idling is one of New York City’s most intractable environmental issues . . . but the law is extremely difficult to enforce,” said a spokeswoman for her office.
With fines as high as $2000 for repeat offenses, snitching doesn’t sound so bad.