A city cab driver was ticketed and towed for driving with vehicle registration that had expired at the end of June and could not be renewed due to the New Jersey government shutdown, according to information provided by Edgar Collazo, owner of First Class Transportation Services.
Collazo’s taxicab was ticketed and towed from Broadway and Washington Street at 10 a.m. on July 4th, 2017, according to a copy of the ticket. This despite an advisory that was sent by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to all law enforcement agencies granting a two-day extension to driver licenses, permits, registrations, and inspection stickers that expired on June 30th, 2017.
“These documents will now be valid until July 6, 2017,” reads the advisory from Raymond Martinez, chairman and chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. The advisory is dated July 4th, 2017.
Police director Jerry Speziale on Wednesday said officers exercised discretion. He did not believe motorists were ticketed during the three-day shutdown of state government. When contacted with this specific case, Speziale did not respond.
Collazo said his company lost thousands of dollars in revenue as a result of the ticket and tow. He also had to pay $293 to reclaim his vehicle from the Classic Towing yard. He had the vehicle released the next day.
“I now have to go to court and waste a day,” said Collazo. He plans on challenging the ticket issued to his driver. He also plans to seek reimbursement from the city for loss of revenue and other expenses incurred.
Collazo said the police officer, Alfredo Guzman, who issued the summonses, could have used discretion.
“He told my driver that’s your problem,” said Collazo.
Guzman, who has been an officer at the Paterson Police Department for almost 14 years, did not respond to a call for comment on Thursday.