NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) – New York City is making new efforts to go after hundreds of thousands of parking ticket scofflaws.

Collectively, ticket deadbeats owe the city $700 million in unpaid fines.

Bill Cassell understands the city’s need for the money, but he told 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck that the way the city gives out parking tickets needs to be changed.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports

“I guess if you’re committing a violation, you should pay your violation, but in regards to the way that it’s done by the meter people specifically. They just attack. There’s no justice, no five minute grace period, no one minute grace period. It’s just rude,” he said.

Officials previously used to wait until someone ran up $800 in fines before they referred it to a collection agency. Now, even small amounts are being sent to collection bureaus.

Casssell said now is not the time to step up their efforts.

“The economy is rough so maybe they should be a little considerate, especially during the holidays,” he said.

The city is also suspending the registrations of car owners who rack up five or more unpaid violations in 12 months and will also seize cars, if necessary.

Alan Hirschman of the Upper East Side supports the city’s efforts.

“I think you should follow the law, pay the tickets, your conscience will be clear. It’ll be one less thing to worry about. I have to go along with the city. If you break the law, you should pay,” Hirschman said.

Hirschman said he knows everyday New Yorkers probably disagree with him, but that’s not what matters.

“People get so cocky they can get away with that. If it’s money due to the city because you didn’t follow the law, it’s not fair to anybody else,” he said.

City Finance Commissioner David Frankel told The New York Times this is the most aggressive the city has ever been about collecting.

He said that with the city’s financed strained; it needs to find every dollar it can.

(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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