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Inspired By Man Who Owed $8k In Tickets, Port Chester Targets Scofflaws

Some drivers have figured out how to game the system and avoid paying parking tickets without consequences.

Accumulate three parking tickets in Port Chester, and authorities can tow your car if you haven't paid up.

A new proposal would take a tougher stance — accumulate three tickets from any vehicle in your name and police can tow all of your cars.

The proposed law is designed to give local authorities the tools to go after serial scofflaws, drivers who accumulate parking tickets on multiple cars, or drivers who game the system by switching plates with the DMV before they're prevented from renewing their registration.

Trustee Sam Terenzi doesn't see a new tool to crack down on serial scofflaws. He sees the potential for parental misery.

"Trust me," Terenzi said, "I have a daughter who doesn't really care if she gets tickets or not, because the car's in my name. I've had my license revoked in Yonkers because she had tickets I never knew about. So when [angry parents] start coming up to the podium, Mr. Mayor, you deal with them."

But Mayor Dennis Pilla, it turns out, doesn't like the proposal for the same reasons.

"Picture you're the dad and you have two kids with three cars in your name," the mayor said. "If you had one ticket on each car, we could tow all three of your cars."

Despite expressing reservations, Port Chester's trustees voted to go ahead with a public hearing on the tougher ticket proposal. That hearing is scheduled for the board's next meeting, on March 19. Elected leaders want to hear from the public and gauge whether residents think the proposal is a good idea.

While such a law could have unintended consequences, Trustee Bart Didden said he thinks the potential payoff is worth it. Didden cited a recent case in Port Chester traffic court — a driver accumulated more than $8,000 in parking tickets with several different vehicles.

"Going through the records, we have found people who systematically drop license plates after getting three, four, five tickets," Didden said. Before the Department of Motor Vehicles flags those drivers and prevents them from renewing their vehicle registration, Didden said, "they put on a new plate and they just start over again."

One other community in the state has a similar law, and that law prompted a discussion among some Port Chester police officers, Village Attorney Tony Ceretto said.  While the proposal would make life easier for patrol and traffic officers, police Chief Joseph Krzeminski is not a supporter.

"Do I like the idea? No, to be honest with you, I don't," the chief said. "I think it goes too far."

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Interested Reader March 08, 2012 at 11:18 PM
You got his sense of humor,LOL.
Saverio Terenzi March 08, 2012 at 11:21 PM
An old sage said to me many years ago "the quickest way to become a millionaire is to start out with ten million, then get married and have daughetrs, you will end up with just a million" Anybody disagree???
JJ March 09, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Your Dad is a good man with a lot of responsibilities and people "looking" to find a chink in his armor. Don't help these people by NOT paying attention; you're old enough to know better and protect your good Family from the critics out there. Thanks for your sense of humor but the "gadfly's" out there will use it against you. Welcome to Port Chester.
Aidan March 09, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Sam, have sons and you'll discover they're entirely capable of losing a car. Geniuses.
leck June 06, 2012 at 02:21 AM
Why not ticket the many car owners that park in fire lanes? I bet you could go to Pathmark, Stop & Shop or Kohls any time of the day and find at least one car outside each blocking the fire lane. There are also those that park on the corner by the street exit to the movie theater. Apart from Costco, none of the store owners seem to be willing to address this themselves, probably at the risk of losing customers. I think this kind of ticketing would be far more justifiable than the gotcha type that takes place when people are parked in legitimate spaces and are ticketed while they are getting to the machine to pay or those ticketed within minutes of their ticket running out.

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