Today’s news:

$115 ticket for wiping glasses

A Morris Park senior who stopped his car for less than a minute to clean his glasses was slapped with a $115 double parking fine. John Zullo was on his way to visit his wife in the hospital.

Zullo, 83, went to see Councilman James Vacca after receiving a ticket on Friday, April 17 at 9:38 a.m. in front of 3540 Rochambeau Avenue. He had stopped his car to wipe his eyeglasses. A traffic enforcement agent came up from behind his car and hit him with a summons.

Zullo had been circling the blocks around Montefiore’s Moses Campus, looking for parking. His wife is undergoing treatment for Leukemia at Montefiore.

“I met with the gentleman and I believe his story,” Vacca said. “He basically stopped his car to clean his glasses and all of a sudden someone comes up from behind his car with a machine that issues tickets.”

Vacca said that he thinks Zullo’s case is especially sad because the motorist had no intention of double-parking.

“I think that this in another example of how the actions of traffic enforcement and Parking Violations Bureau has gotten out of hand.” Vacca said. “We have to have City Council oversight of traffic enforcement and the PVB.”

Zullo said that he feels that the ticket he received is unfair. He doesn’t understand why he simply wasn’t asked by the traffic enforcement agent to move his car.

“If I left the car with no one inside of it, I could see why he would give me a ticket,” Zullo stated. “But I was in my car and was ready to move it. I even told him that my wife has Leukemia and is at Montefiore and he said that he didn’t care.”

Zullo said that the traffic enforcement agent told him that he had to write the ticket for double parking because if an accident occurred on the street, the agent would be held responsible. Vacca said that Zullo’s case sounds like many others he is hearing.

“I can’t begin to tell all the stories that I hear from motorists who have gotten frivolous parking tickets,” Vacca said. “If I were the traffic agent in this case, I would have asked the man to please move his car. This is a man who would have cooperated and moved on.”

Vacca has a number of bills that he has co-sponsored currently being considered in the Council dealing with parking tickets. These bills include restoring a five-minute grace period for expired meters, and requiring traffic agents to photograph double-parked cars and other violations before they issue a summons.

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