Nassau netted $524,000 through a ticket amnesty program that has just ended, a fraction of the $118 million in outstanding tickets, according to the county’s Traffic and Parking Violations Agency.
In February, County Executive Edward Mangano announced a three-month amnesty initiative to reduce Nassau’s backlog of nearly 572,000 traffic and parking tickets that were issued between Jan. 1, 1982, and Dec. 31, 2013.
Some 1,500 motorists who settled the violations between Feb. 22 and May 22 saw their original fines cut in half and other penalties waived. Motorists still were responsible for a $45 county fee and a state surcharge amounting to $88 for traffic violations and $10 for parking violations.
A total of 996 motorists resolved 2,339 unpaid traffic violations, bringing in $431,000, county records show. Nassau is still owed $52.4 million on about 176,000 unpaid tickets.
Also, 528 motorists paid a total of more than $93,000 to settle 1,414 old parking tickets. Motorists still owe about $65.6 million on more than 392,000 parking violations, data show.
The program reduced Nassau’s backlog of unpaid tickets dated before 2014 by about 2 percent, to 561,320, county data show.
John Marks, executive director of Nassau’s Traffic and Parking Violations Agency, said he wished more motorists had taken advantage of the program. He said those who ignored the amnesty offer face the prospect of having their vehicles booted and towed.
“We tried to be reasonable,” said Marks. “We are not heartless. But, if after everything we offered they still don’t pay, then enough is enough. No more Mr. Nice Guy.”
Nassau contracts with a firm that uses license-plate-scanning technology to find cars in public parking lots with three or more unpaid tickets and then attaches a locked boot onto wheels of the vehicles.
If the violator does not pay the past due amounts within 48 hours, including a $166 booting fee, the vehicle will be towed, for an additional cost of $125, plus storage fees. Scofflaws also face potential suspension of their driver’s licenses, liens, asset seizures and inability to renew their auto registrations, officials said.