NEW YORK (PIX11) — “See something, say something” is a well-known mantra in New York City. But what if you could also get paid something for doing that?
A new proposal would expand the city program that returns part of the fine to the person who first reported a traffic violation. Currently, you can make $85 on a $350 fine for successfully reporting a case involving a truck or bus that idles for more than three minutes, or more than one minute near a school.
That is the only infraction that pays out currently. The program was created in 2019.
The submission, which is done online through an account created with the city, must meet several criteria. That includes having a set timestamp, a continuous video with engine noise and licenses and identifying information. The person may also have to appear at a hearing.
There is also a city investigation included in the process.
Councilmember Lincoln Restler has proposed expanding the program to include parking and parking placard issues. His proposed bill would pay a portion of the fine to the person submitting the documentation.
It still needs to have a hearing and be approved by the city council and Mayor Eric Adams.
Click here to learn about the specifics of the current program.
The NYC Department of Environmental Protection said the Citizens Air Complaint Program generated 12,267 submissions in 2021. That comes out to $2.3 million in fines and $724,000 paid to citizen reporters.
The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission also currently has a program that allows people to report drivers of livery cars and cabs for some traffic violations with a picture. The driver can receive a summons. The fine is not shared with the citizen in those cases.
Rich Mintz, who has submitted reports to the TLC, said it can help change drivers’ behavior and create safer streets.
“I’d prefer the police do it, but there’s such an area to cover,” he said.
Jeff Novich created an app called ReportedNYC. It connects to the city’s 311 and TLC system and allows people to report drivers, including taxi and livery concerns, parking issues and blocked bike lanes.