New York City Police Department

Press Release | 2008-037

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 037
Tuesday, September 9, 2008



“BLOCK THE BOX” CRACKDOWN BEGINS AT NOON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today announced a new crackdown on motorists who “block the box” and cause traffic congestion throughout the city.

In an initiative beginning at noon tomorrow, Wednesday, September 10, 2008, vehicles found “blocking the box” will be ticketed with new, easier to issue summonses with fines of $115.

“Traffic Enforcement Agents will spearhead this initiative that was made possible by a recent change in the law,” said Commissioner Kelly. “More than 2,500 agents have new authority to write 'blocking the box' summonses. Combined with their efficient handheld devices, they will be better equipped to keep New York moving.”

In July 2008, a new law went into effect which makes “Obstructing Traffic at an Intersection” a parking violation. This law enables Traffic Enforcement Agents to write tickets for “blocking the box.”  Previously, “blocking the box” summonses were moving violations that could only be issued by uniformed Police Officers and relatively few senior Traffic Enforcement Agents who needed to record license and registration information. This time-consuming process could exacerbate congested traffic.

Now, the same violation will be treated as a $115 parking ticket that the Traffic Enforcement Agents can quickly issue. Police Officers may still write the summonses as a moving violation.

Traffic Enforcement Agents will be posted throughout the City at intersections with high density traffic, where there is a propensity to “block the box.” Agents use a handheld Parking Ticket Device, or PTD, which can scan the vehicle information from the registration sticker in the window and print the ticket.

During a pilot program on Wednesday, September 3, 2008, Traffic Enforcement Agents issued 111 tickets for “blocking the box.” The total number of moving violation “blocking the box” summonses written in 2007 is 13,995.

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