NYC Lawmakers Want To Pay People For Submitting Videos Of Illegally Idling Vehicles

Getting paid to spy for your government isn’t just something for the movies: In New York City, lawmakers are introducing a bill that would reward citizens who report drivers of idling vehicles and submit a video of the act as proof.

Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal is behind the bill, and says it’s the way to go in because the laws right now against environmentally dangerous idling aren’t usually enforced, reports the New York Daily News. It’s illegal to let a vehicle run for more than three minutes, or for more than one minute near schools, with a fine of $350.

“The enforcement is so terrible,” she said. “The health impact of idling cars is bad. (It contributes to) asthma, heart disease, cancer.”

This new bill would not only get a hike to $1,500 — with first-time offenders going free with a warning — but would pay residents to alert the Department of Environmental Protection, up to half the summons amount.

But before submitting complaints, citizens would have to take a DEP training class and identify themselves when turning in videos showing the motorist’s license plate.

Won’t this just set all the curtains in the neighborhood a-twitching with domestic spies? No, Rosenthal says, as all drivers have to do to stay out of trouble is follow the law.

“The point is, it’s illegal,” she said. “This is about people who are really frustrated that we’re not enforcing the law, and this is a solution.”

New Yorkers could earn money by submitting videos of exhaust-spewing cars under proposed bill [New York Daily News]