NY Program Pays Citizens to Report Idling Trucks, Fines Levied

An anti-idling law in New York is incentivizing citizens to report any commercial truck or bus idling on city streets for more than three minutes.

The Citizens Air Complaint Program pays people for reporting commercial vehicles left idling without a driver, according to media reports. Violators can be fined at least $250 for idling for more than three minutes (or for one minute in a school zone),

One New York City man, according to reports, has already made six figures from reporting idling vehicles, says the report.

To file an idling complaint, a citizen needs to submit a time- and date-stamped video taken during the time of observation that shows the commercial truck or bus continuously idling for more than three minutes, according to the NYC Environmental Protection website. The video needs to contain the license plate and the company information from the vehicle. Additionally, the sound of the idling engine needs to be clearly heard on the video.

Using the online Idling Complaint System, citizens must submit their completed complaint and the supporting evidence within 60 days from the date of observing the idling truck or bus.

If the summons is upheld, the company or business must pay the penalty for the citizen to receive payment for his or her complaint.

Last year, almost 11,500 idling tickers were issued, more than double the 5,000 given out in 2019 before the law took effect, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

However, according to City Hall, there are about $8 million in unpaid idling vehicle fines.

Full story here.

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