Ongoing Pause on Vehicle Towing Has Impact on Road Safety

white car being towed by tow truck

As New York City eases into a new normal by lifting pandemic-era restrictions, it still has some catching up to do to make local roads safer – particularly when it comes to resuming vehicle towing.

As reported by Streetsblog NYC, the city has yet to fully resume booting and towing vehicles owned by traffic offenders who meet the penalty threshold, which the NYC Department of Finance defines as a more than $350 ticket that hasn’t been paid or disputed within 100 days of issuance.

While the temporary enforcement suspension was implemented at the start of the pandemic in March 2020, it by and large remains in effect two years later. The city did resume some vehicle seizures in February, but it has limited towing and booting only to vehicles that have camera-issued violations, such as running a red light. That leaves the pause in place for all other types of traffic offenses, including double-parking, blocking bike lanes, and other violations not caught on camera.

The result has been a major drop in vehicle seizures; down from roughly 118,000 and 102,000 in 2018 and 2019 to approximately 30,000 in 2020 and 2021.

According to public safety advocates, that’s an alarming trend that’s not only costing the city millions in revenue that could be used to enhance road safety programs, but also leaving scofflaw drivers on the road. Apart from redesigning roads to slow drivers down and prevent violations in the first place, advocates say resuming towing is an effective measure to reduce accident and injury rates.

At The Perecman Firm, P.L.L.C., our NYC attorneys know the dangers posed by negligent motorists, including reckless drivers with a history of traffic violations. If you have questions about a motor vehicle accident and your legal options, call (212) 577-9325 or contact us online for a free consultation. We’d be happy to review your matter and discuss how we can help.

For over 40 years, David H. Perecman has distinguished himself as one of the leading personal injury lawyers in New York City, championing all types of personal injury cases including construction accidents, premises accidents, automobile accidents, and medical malpractice, along with employment discrimination, false arrest, and civil rights cases.