July 7, 2018 – One of the four New Yorkers who filed complaints with the city about idling commercial trucks — which can earn tipsters rewards of up to $500 — apparently didn’t do it for the money.
“I haven’t received any compensation and I don’t expect to,” said Tevin Grant, 41, who has filed about six complaints.
Still, he added, “If I do get it, I’ll take my family out for dinner.”
Since a new law went into effect in February, the Department of Environmental Protection rewards tipsters who complain about idling vans and buses parked by a curb for more than three minutes or a minute in a school zone — about 25 percent of the fines imposed.
Though Grant works as a lawyer for the DEP, his quest to stop gas-guzzling idlers is a personal journey.
“This is not something I’m doing as part of the DEP,” said Grant. “I have to file the complaints as a citizen because it is a citizen complaint.”
The 41-year-old Queens resident said his mission is to stop the pollution-making habit simply by spreading awareness.
“Diesel pollution is a real problem in New York and everywhere,” said Grant. “They’ve linked increased pollution to early death.”
He added, “If the drivers know that people are watching them, hopefully, they will respect the law more.”
The best part of the interview did not make it into the story. While we were talking a FedEx truck pulled up to make a delivery and left his truck idling for about 4 minutes. The photographer approached the driver and started taking pictures which made him very angry. The reporter then explained the idling law to the driver and he stated he was unaware of the law.
The driver told the reporter that: “I do not care about idling, I am here to deliver packages.”
He called his supervisor who told him that he was aware of the idling law. Then the driver got mad at the photographer for taking his picture and started to use his phone to take pictures of the photographer. Then he called the cops and said he was being harassed.
The deliveryman did not wait for the cops to come. But the cops did not do anything when they arrived. I later saw the FedEx truck and the driver turned off the truck when he stopped. So all in all I would call it a win.