Southampton Town Announces Parking Violation Amnesty Program
By Douglas Feiden
Good news for parking scofflaws.
In a novel way to usher in the Memorial Day weekend, Southampton Town on Tuesday announced a “parking violations amnesty program” for all tickets issued between the first day of 2012 and the last day of 2015.
Violators with outstanding tickets will be off the hook — and spared delinquent fees and penalties — if they simply make good on their original tickets, plus an additional $5 administrative fee, in the period between June 1 and July 31.
“The amnesty program allows the town to collect the overdue fees with minimal court costs and administrative time,” said Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman. “There are also great costs to the town to collect past due parking violation penalties.”
Roughly 2,300 still-outstanding parking tickets were issued over the past thee years, ranging from a regular $75 parking summons, which will cost a violator $80 to resolve, to a $280 ticket for illegal parking in a handicapped zone, which will now cost $285 to settle, town officials say.
A similar 2012 amnesty program helped the town recover some 50 percent of outstanding fines.
Want to pay up at long last? The town says it is trying to make the process user-friendly for the forgetful motorist: Violators will get notices of the amnesty via mail, tickets can be paid on line at www.paycourtonline.com, and information is available at 888-912-1541.
Taxi, Livery Fees
Meanwhile, there will be a summertime pause to the big changes that have been afoot in the livery and taxi fees in town.
That was the word heading into the holiday weekend from Councilman Stan Glinka, who sponsored legislation that was passed in April mandating that drivers for mobile app companies obtain licenses like traditional taxis.
Designed to rein in the number of dispatched-on-line drivers from big tech-transport companies like Uber and Lyft, the bill required that they obtain a $750 town taxi license, a separate $150 license for each driver and yet a third $100 license for each car.
Now, Mr. Glinka — who said the measure was intended to “level the playing field,” not to force Uber out of town — wants to see the impact of the new law before determining if the required fees should be pared back.
“Over the summer season, I want to look at how many liveries actually register with the town,” he said in an interview on Wednesday.
“So we’re going to leave everything the way it is and see how the season goes in the villages of Westhampton and Southampton and Sag Harbor. We’ll wait to see the input from the taxi and livery drivers, and we’re going to look at the fees, too. It can get to be pretty expensive,” he added.
Mr. Glinka said a lower new fee structure could be promulgated early next year, depending on a review of the numbers.