It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
For years, United Nations diplomats were notorious for running up millions of dollars in parking tickets, then just laughing at the city's attempts to collect. Diplomatic immunity meant there was little U.S. courts could do about it.
But the city's thousands of foreign officials have largely changed their ways since a threatened crackdown three years ago.
According to New York's finance department, diplomats have gotten 90% fewer tickets since late 2002, when the U.S. threatened to revoke the plates of scofflaws and subtract however much they owed in fines from the foreign aid their countries received.
Those who do get citations have gotten better about paying them. Of the 11,771 parking violations issued to diplomats in the past three years, 87% have been paid or successfully appealed, the city said. Many of the remainder are still working through the legal system.
"When diplomats do receive tickets, they are contesting and paying them just like regular New Yorkers," said Finance Commissioner Martha Stark.
Between April of 1997 and October of 2002, holders of diplomatic plates racked up 205,732 parking tickets in New York. About $18.1 million of those fines have yet to be paid.
The tally so outraged then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani that he threatened to tow away diplomatic vehicles and sell them.