Long Island Drivers Believe New High-Tech Parking Meters Are Ripping Them Off

CEDARHURST, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Long Island drivers believe they are being ripped off from new parking meters.

CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported Cedarhurst has rolled out a new fleet of parking meters for 1,500 spots, but drivers want them out.

“Go back to the old one where you just put more quarters in,” Esther Makowsky said.

The village was the first in the state to have these high-tech meters as Cedarhurst was chosen for a pilot program by the company and got them for free. The meters are touch-screen and accept credit cards, but drivers said glitches in the new technology makes running errands more expensive.

“A couple of times I ended up paying for someone else’s meter,” Makowsky said. “It’s a little confusing with the arrows and then I ended up getting a ticket.”

Driver who take a chance once the time runs out are now out of luck. These meters have cameras pointed at the parking spots, and once the time expires it sends a photo of the car to meter readers.

“Once the meter is expired, probably two to three minutes after, I’ll be notified on this tablet,” Cedarhurst meter reader Patrick Feehan said.

Feehan said he hasn’t noticed a big increase in tickets and Cedarhurst Mayor Benjamin Weinstock said that feature can end up helping drivers.

“With the video information we get we can run for stolen car plates, we can run for scoff law plates,” Weinstock said.

If the meter still has money in it and you drive off the meter zeroes out, which means the next person who parks there can’t use the time you paid for.

“Let’s say I have 45 minutes left. Why shouldn’t I give it to someone else, why should it stop?” Michael Friedman questioned.

Weinstock said these meters are money-makers, and that benefits everyone.

“We’re generating approximately $1.6 million a year in revenue from meters and fines, and under this new agreement, we’re gonna be generating $2 million,” Weinstock explained.

Drivers do have an initial 10-minute grace period when they first park.

Drivers can also remotely add money to the meter using a smartphone app.