NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A New York City councilman is making it his mission to crack down on illegal parking.

That’s why he’s proposing a bill that would allow people in the community to get “paid to snitch.”

Finding legal parking in the city requires a special amount of patience.

“To try to find any commercial spot is very, very hard to find,” one driver said.

Some drivers give up, park illegally, put on their hazards and take their chances.

“Cyclists using the bike lanes trying to be safe will then have to veer into traffic, and we’ve seen tragic results from that,” Councilman Stephen Levin said.

Councilman Stephen Levin is proposing legislation that targets drivers who park in bike and bus lanes, crosswalks and on sidewalks within a quarter mile of a school. (Credit: CBS2)

That’s why Levin is proposing legislation that targets drivers who park in bike and bus lanes, crosswalks and on sidewalks within a quarter mile of a school.

Cars with city-issued placards would not be exempt.

“If we can’t really count on the city to do the enforcement, it makes sense to give that to the public,” Levin told CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas.

The proposal establishes a system where anyone can take a picture of a car illegally parked and send it to the city. When the driver pays the $175 fine, the person reporting it gets a $44 cut.

“It’s like you’re trying to trying to snitch on me right there, and you know what they say about snitches,” one driver said.

“To have the general public, you never know who… You know, the person might come back, ‘I know you told on me,’ then you’ve got problems,” another man said.

The program is modeled after the city’s idling law that pays people who submit videos of cars left running for more than three minutes.

MORE: Billy Idol, Mayor Bill de Blasio Unveil ‘Billy Never Idles’ Anti-Idling Campaign

According to the Department of Environmental Protection, this year, more than 1,600 payments have been made, totaling nearly $183,000 and counting.

“You’re going to get the people who are just looking for money,” one driver said.

Levin says it’s supposed to be a deterrent that promotes safety.

“I mean with all the problems we have in Brooklyn and in the city?” one Brooklyn resident said.

Some are raising concerns about the possible unintended consequences.

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Comments (2)
  1. CYRUS says:

    Many who are forced to double park are doing so because they are making deliveries to people who are either forced to stay at home, or choose to for safety reasons during this pandemic. The fine is rediculously unfair.

  2. richard gordon says:

    In a time when so many are stressed financially, this is really something that will just add an additional financial burden to mostly hard working New Yorkers. Try finding ways to help assist people at this time, Mr. Levin and the rest of the Council, not further making their lives more difficult financially during these difficult times..

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