A recent in the news item discussed an intersection in Queens where people believe they are forced into the box and then issued citations for blocking the intersection. More people have since stepped forward claiming that they, too, consider themselves victims of similar unfair enforcement.
People in the area have said that police were present on the corner for weeks, darting into the intersection to give people tickets rather than help provide some solution. Citizens complain that there are often situations where they get caught in the middle of the intersection for reasons beyond their control and many claim much of the problem could be avoided with some helpful, rather than revenue raising, enforcement and officer assistance.
A judge agreed with one woman who chose to fight her ticket in court. She was stuck at the intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and 60th Street with nowhere to go. A police officer approached her vehicle and handed her a ticket. The woman showed a judge cell phone video she took of the incident and the judge agreed that the citation was unfair under the particular circumstances at that time and place. The woman’s ticket was dismissed, along with the $115 fine.
A reporter questioned NYPD Deputy Inspector Richard Avignone regarding the situation. He told the reporter, “We put enforcement teams to go to areas in the community that have congestion problems to correct this type of situation through enforcement…The message to drivers is that it’s their responsibility to keep the box clear.”
While we agree that this is the responsibility of the motorist, there is a practical element to all of this that should not be ignored by enforcement officers. A driver cannot be expected to remain still for multiple light cycles while other drivers cause the congestion and make some progress moving along. Moreover, there are situations where what appears to be space to accommodate your vehicle on the far side of the intersection is suddenly swallowed by a parked vehicle pulling out or an enforcement officer adding a body or other vehicle to the mix.
If you have received a traffic citation in New York for spillback or other violation, feel free to reach out to our team and see what we may be able to do to help.