Klein, Benedetto, Vacca Call on Governor to Sign Bill Raising Fines for Illegally Parked Tractor-Trailers

Jeffrey D. Klein

August 24, 2010

Measure Would Rein in Overnight Parking in Residential Areas

BRONX, NY - State Senator Jeff Klein, Assembly Member Michael Benedetto, Council Member James Vacca, and community leaders today called on Governor Paterson to sign legislation that would increase the fine for overnight parking of tractor-trailers on residential streets to $250 for the first offense and $500 for the second offense.

The legislation ? S1861D/A8804B ? seeks to address a longstanding issue in many Bronx communities, where illegally parked tractor-trailers take up precious parking spaces and create safety hazards by limiting visibility. Its passage was the result of over a year of negotiations and advocacy at the State and City levels by Klein, Benedetto, and Vacca. The current overnight parking fine of $50 provides little deterrent to tractor-trailer operators because the fine can cost less than legal parking alternatives.

Senator Klein said:“For years, out-of-state private truck companies have used residential Bronx streets as their personal parking lots. This law aims to discourage commercial truck companies from congesting our streets and ensure that our neighborhoods remain safe and pleasant places to live."

Assembly Member Benedetto said: “I implore the Governor to see the reason behind this bill and attach his signature immediately. Large trucks parked on our neighborhood streets are a blight on our area, and a threat to public safety. We must do whatever we can to deter these truckers from abusing our streets.”

Council Member Vacca said:“For too long, illegal tractor-trailer parking has been a problem without any solution. Low fines have given truck drivers no incentive to abide by the law and stay off local streets, and the result has been an eyesore for local communities and a safety hazard for pedestrians and motorists. I thank Senator Klein and Assemblyman Benedetto for leading this fight in Albany, and my colleagues in the Council for supporting our cause at City Hall. Now it is time for the Governor to do his part to end this harmful practice.”

In 2008, a Bronx little league organization contacted Klein's office to ask for assistance with numerous tractor trailers parking overnight around their little league field. The organization stated that the trucks prevented parents and opposing teams from having the ability to park at the field and attend the games. Klein's office repeatedly contacted the trucking companies - the majority of which were out of state - to inform them that they were violating the NYC traffic law and should move their trucks. After repeated conversations with these companies, Klein discovered that it was cheaper for the trucking companies to park illegally and get the small fines associated with the infractions than pay for overnight parking. Despite solving the immediate issue for the Little League, Klein recognized this was an issue which had to be addressed legislatively.

S1861D, sponsored by Senator Klein, passed the New York State Senate on June 24; A8804B, sponsored by Benedetto, passed the State Assembly on June 29. The same day, at Vacca’s urging, the New York City Council passed a “home-rule message” in support of the state legislation. The bill was delivered to the Governor for his signature on August 18.

Joining Klein, Benedetto, and Vacca at today’s news conference were Bronx Community Board 10 District Manager Kenneth Kearns, Locust Point Civic Association President Jerry Landi, and Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association Board Member Andrew Chirico.