UN Diplomats Owe NYC $18 Million In Parking Ticket Fines
$18 million in parking fines.
That’s the total amount United Nations’ diplomats from 180 countries owe New York City according to a press release from Representative Anthony Weiner, of New York’s 9th Congressional District.
“It’s insulting to all New Yorkers that countries like Yemen, Zimbabwe and Iran owe the City millions in unpaid parking tickets,” Congressman Weiner said via press release. “Diplomats park illegally, ignore paying their parking tickets and expect New Yorkers to pick up the tab. This needs to end.”
Rep. Weiner wants to get tough with this kabal of international parking ticket scofflaws. He’s proposing legislation that would effectively, have the U.S. State Department withhold the dollar amount of parking ticket fines owed by a nation receiving U.S. foreign aid and re-route it to NYC to pay for the ticket monies owed.
Egypt leads the list of offenders with nearly $2 million in fines according to Rep. Weiner’s press release, from 17,633 issued between 1997 and 2009 according to the New York Times. Kuwait follows somewhat closely behind with nearly $1.3 million owed.
This type of scofflaw behavior, where foreign diplomats have diplomatic immunity in almost all instances (except parking tickets it seems), is apparently more prevalent from countries with higher levels of corruption according to a study by economists profiled in Forbes magazine back in 2006.
One wonders, are diplomatic vehicles with consulate plates immune from booting and towing?
The Top Ten United Nations Parking Ticket Scofflaws
Source: New York City Department of Finance