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Tix fix back on track after bus-lane blitz

Finally!: The city has sent Yelena and Yevgvemiy Vasilenko an official letter assuring them that they will only have to pay one of the 13 delayed tickets they received for driving in the B44 Select Bus lane.
The Brooklyn Paper
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The infamous B44 ticket blitz is a big step closer to getting fixed.

The departments of Transportation and Finance mailed an official statement on Aug. 22 to drivers facing multiple tickets for driving in the B44 Select Service bus lane, informing them that they will only have to pay one of the summonses issued weeks late due to a glitch in the enforcement cameras along the route.

For nearly a month, the city did not send out any official statement about its plans to dismiss all but one of the tickets each driver faced, leaving drivers to relay information they read in this paper to judges in traffic court, who often told them they were unaware of the dismissal plan.

The new letter states that drivers have 30 days from the time the notices were sent to pay the one ticket listed. It assured them that all their other tickets will be officially withdrawn.

The city has also provided the sheriff’s office with a list of all the involved vehicles’ license plates so drivers do not have to worry about their cars being booted for non-payment.

From now on, traffic court judges will adjourn all ticket cases related to this issue, and drivers with an upcoming hearing can have it adjourned by e-mailing correspondence@finance.nyc.gov with the subject line “B44 bus lane violation adjournment request.”

But that hasn’t put an end to the confusion that has reigned since Brooklyn drivers started receiving tickets in the mail in June for violations dating back to March.

The Department of Transportation originally said last month that the city would dismiss all but the first violation. Now, the official notice states that only the last ticket received must be paid. But the letters also list a specific ticket to pay, which in some cases isn’t the last ticket drivers have received.

“They’re saying the last ticket they issued me was from April 3, whereas the last ticket I received was from April 11,” said Peter Allen, from Midwood, who has already paid about $1,000 worth of the tickets.

Allen said he is worried that if he pays the ticket listed in the letter, he will be forced to pay the other ticket when the departments update their systems.

“If I pay the last ticket according to their records and they wake up from their coma and say, ‘You have three other tickets,’ I don’t know what they’re going to do,” said Allen. “They’re pulling more money out of my pocket.”

The Department of Finance confirmed that drivers should pay the specific ticket listed in the letter — even if they have already paid other tickets they received earlier.

“The ticket listed in the letter is the violation for which they will be responsible,” said Finance spokeswoman Sonia Alleyne.

She said that all other tickets issued between March 18 and Aug. 31 will be withdrawn and that drivers will receive refunds for any multiple tickets they’ve paid after they pay the listed ticket.

Reach reporter Vanessa Ogle at vogle@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow her attwitter.com/oglevanessa.
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Reasonable discourse

Entitled motorist says:
Waaaah waaaah I broke the law and got caught and it's soooooo unfair!!
Aug. 29, 2014, 4:10 am
Rob from Greenpoint says:
The epic saga of the entitled and privileged law-breakers continues. Tune in next time, when Councilman Chaim Deutsch fights for the rights of drivers who couldn't possibly know that running red lights and parking on the sidewalk were illegal. Watch him fight for freedom from bureaucratic tyranny!
Aug. 29, 2014, 7:46 am
ty from pps says:
So -- I wonder if Yelena and Yevgvemiy Vasilenko have stopped driving in the bus lane?
Aug. 29, 2014, 10:28 am
old time brooklyn from slope says:
Chalk yet another for us evil entitled - yippee!!!!

a few years ago a friend was hit with 37 violations for posting her guitar teacher flyres on lamp posts on 7th ave - judge threw them out but one - she sure was evil lol
Aug. 29, 2014, 12:01 pm
ty from pps says:
Old Time -- that was called judicial leniency/compassion. That does not mean your friend didn't break the law 37 times. If you think you can just drive down CLEARLY MARKED bus lanes (ya know, the brown painted lanes that say "Bus Only") and not expect consequences... Well, then your name is probably Chaim Deutsch.

I wonder what Yevgvemiy Vasilenko will say the next time he gets a bus lane ticket? Will he still try the "I didn't know" defense and get his Councilman to dismiss the tickets?
Aug. 29, 2014, 1:11 pm
Chris says:
Why is this good? Driving should be heavily disincentivized.
Aug. 29, 2014, 1:23 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
They were given promises on what they owe. If those promises are broken, they should every right to sue. The result of the lawsuit should be the city should owe them at least double what they were supposed to owe if double crossed as well as getting a period of certain exemption from the laws that will act as a get out of jail free card. Seriously, with the fines so high it makes me feel if the city is really broke to quote Homer Simpson, "The city has run out of money, so they look at new ways to stick it to the little man." Next they will be getting fined just for telling it like it is.
Aug. 29, 2014, 6:08 pm
ty from pps says:
If that was the "real" Tal Barzilai, you really need to check in with a mental health professional... what did that comment (paranoid babble) even mean? Did it have a purpose?
Aug. 29, 2014, 8:44 pm
Common Cents from Crown Heights says:
There is a bus lane camera on Rodgers between Sullivan and Montgomery. Yesterday during rush hour a rocket scientist on his second job as a delivery truck driver decided to double park in the driving lane forcing everyone to drive in the bus lane. This wasn't the usual 'drive partially in the bus lane' to get around, this was full blown as his tractor trailer took up the entire driving lane. I wonder if tickets will be issued?
Aug. 30, 2014, 6:55 am
Mike says:
Oh yeah, Tal, $50 fines for breaking driving laws are "so high". I bet you'd be the first to suggest that the $180 fines for bicyclists who run lights are way too low. Windshield perspective much?
Aug. 30, 2014, 11:19 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Mike, if you bothered to read the article, one of them was mentioned to buy almost a thousand dollars in tickets, and I doubt that the individual fines were around fifty dollars. If that's not steep, then I don't know what is. The reason why violations on motorists are always going to be the highest is because they will always be seen as the cash cow here. Moving violations always include a surcharge as if the fine by itself isn't high enough, which makes me ask if the city is broke. I'm starting to feel that some of this might be violating the 8th amendment on the US Constitution on excessive fines and punishments. As for cyclists and pedestrians that flout the laws, maybe if the fines were the same amount as they are motorists right now, their plans to flout the laws will probably be much lower.
Aug. 30, 2014, 6:45 pm
Common Cents from Crown Heights says:
The city isn't broke. However it's a city where people want services but no one wants to pay more in taxes so this is what they do to raise money. Ticketing peds and cyclists require man power. Ticketing motorists via cameras can be done 24/7 365 and they don't call out sick, don't take breaks etc. Consider that each year the state and insurance companies lose tens of millions in revenue to drivers registered in other states. The 80s was FL, 90s GA, VA, NC and now it's PA and CT. For decades they tried to find ways to recoup this money. Now they have a way with the combination of cameras and booting.
Aug. 31, 2014, 9:31 am
ty from pps says:
Tal, sweety, the total fine fees = $80.

These upstanding citizens with thousands of dollars worth of fines decided driving in the BUS ONLY lane was a law that didn't apply to them. Unfortunately, we have several dimwitted councilmen who seem to agree.

by the way, why doesn't your favorite phrase "flout the law" apply to these folks driving in the bus lane??!!
Aug. 31, 2014, 1:28 pm
Epiphany from Ex-Brooklyn says:
Yelena and Yevgvemiy Vasilenko may still think they are in Russia and can do whatever they want just by knowing the right politicians—in this case a demagogue named Chaim Deutsch. Unfortunately Deutsch seems the future of Brooklyn politics - which includes privilege, racism, economic discrimination and short-sighted urban planning policy. His past vision includes the formation of the Shomrim Volunteer Security Patrol, a group in the spirit of a paramilitary organization (though thankfully without weapons) that calls the police when they see something (someone who looks different?) they find "suspicious" on public streets.
Aug. 31, 2014, 2 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
For the record, I'm all for enforcement of the laws, but I feel that fines are pretty steep. Not that long ago, there was an entry in the NY Times City Room about how some fines are just too much even if the violation done by motorists wasn't even major. The lowest one can get these days is pretty much for failing to obey a traffic light or sign, but even that one is pretty high for being the lowest. Let's not forget that if you're rich or have very good connections, you can get such tickets fixed like what Alex Rodriguez did recently to avoid paying them. As for cameras, they are more about revenues before anything, because if they aren't catching the license plates of those braking the rules enough, they will be seen as a net money loser. Meanwhile, cyclists can get away with almost anything, because they have no license plate and can't be tracked, which I bet whole quotas can be filled going after them alone.
Aug. 31, 2014, 6:49 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
$80 - not bad - evil drivers win - whiney peeps loses lol
Aug. 31, 2014, 8:54 pm
Bal Tarzilai from Unpleasantville says:
Tal, your second comment makes no sense. Mike said it's 50 for motorists and 180 for cyclists. Yet you said fines for cyclists should be as high as motorists? Your bias is showing as well as your penchant for blindly attacking cyclists and pedestrians.I hope they bring back the commuter tax to keep your kind out of the city.
Sept. 3, 2014, 6:35 pm

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