Search the Site

Diplomatic Parking Tickets


Usually, it’s New York City that complains bitterly about its diplomat parking ticket situation.  The U.N. may be a beacon of hope and peaceful negotiation around the world, but it brings with it workers who use their immunity to park in front of fire hydrants, red zones, and anywhere else they please – it’s the stuff of urban legends and West Wing episodes.
Washington, D.C. is getting in on this complaining game. According to a new article on D.C. takes the #2 spot with a diplomat ticket total of more than $500,000. New York City is owed a grand total of $17.2 million.
In 2003, the state department issued dire warnings to embassies in New York and D.C. threatening to withhold foreign assistance if parking tickets were not paid.  So far though, it seems no foreign assistance has been withheld.
Here’s D.C.’s top offenders:
Russia – $27,200
Yemen – $24,600
Cameroon – $19,520
France – $19,520
Mauritania – $8,070
The Holy See, it’s worth noting, has only one outstanding ticket for $25.
In New York, the list of top offenders is a different set:
Egypt – $1,929,142
Kuwait – $1,266,901
Nigeria – $1,019,998
Indonesia – $692,200
Brazil – $608,733
So what do these countries have in common?  Oil wealth? Moxie? In 2006, Forbes Magazine hypothesized that it was the level of a country’s corruption (according to the Corruption Perception Index) that predicted the level of parking ticket delinquency, along with a country’s level of anti-American sentiment.
Any other theories?