One Man Collects $125K By Reporting Idling Commercial Vehicles In NYC

[ – 2022.04.15] Smartphones have become so advanced that they’ve become both a handheld communication device and a camera. In New York City, however, you can use your smartphone (or any video capturing device) to report instances of idling commercial vehicles – and earn from doing so.

According to a report by NBC New York, NYC’s 2019 law called Citizens Air Complaint Program has already received $2.3 million in idling fines. A quarter of that amount went to the New Yorkers who reported the incident, and a good portion has already been chalked up to one person.

Donald Blair, who goes after idling trucks and buses in Brooklyn, has already collected $55,000 just by reporting these idling commercial vehicles. Another $70,000 is on the way for a combined earning of $125,000. Blair’s haul is the most any single New Yorker has earned from this scheme, according to NBC.

Of note, citizens who report idling commercial vehicles receive $87.50, or a quarter of the issued fine. All they have to do is to catch one in the act, record it on video for three minutes (one minute if it’s in a school zone), and submit the footage to the city’s Department of Environmental Protection along with a sworn statement. The commercial vehicle owner can be fined $250 or more.