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 It assured them that all their other tickets will be officially withdrawn.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 [email protected] 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.