A New York mother is asking for leniency after she received a $115 ticket while breastfeeding her child in the backseat of her vehicle.
Guillermina Rodriguez was driving in Manhattan when her 3-week-old daughter started crying because she was hungry. The mother then decided to pull over so she could attend to her baby.
— T.J. Parker (@TJParkerABC13) April 13, 2019
“I was almost crying because she’s crying, and all I wanted to do was pull over so I could attend to her,” Rodriguez told ABC 13.
The area Rodriguez had parked in was a no-standing commercial zone on 8th Avenue, between 30th Street and 31st Street in midtown Manhattan, reported PIX 11.
About two minutes after stopping, a traffic officer pulled up next to her with a tow truck. He proceeded to tow the SUV without checking whether anyone was in the vehicle.
The mom says she was driving in heavy traffic when her 3-week-old baby girl began to cry, so she pulled over to do what she felt was right.
She said she then honked her car to alert the officer that the car was not empty and showed him of a video of her breastfeeding her baby that she just took in the car, according to PIX 11.
Despite this, the officer did not say anything, continued to issue a ticket, and walked away.
Rodriguez is now planning to fight the ticket, saying that she was doing what she could for her newborn and does not believe she should have received the ticket.
“I understand it’s the law, but seriously, what am I supposed to do, let the child scream?” Rodriguez told NY Daily News.
The mother said she contacted Laura Beth Gilman, an Upper West Side breastfeeding counselor, from the breastfeeding advocacy group La Leche League to help her with her case.
Gilman said the officer should have treated Rogriguez’s situation as an emergency.
“If she had a flat tire, would he have given her a ticket? If she had a health emergency … would he have given her a ticket? She had an emergency,” Gilman told news website. “She found the first safe spot she could and she rectified the emergency.”
Officers who were aware of the incident told PIX 11 that the agent who issued the ticket before realizing someone was in the SUV.
According to the New York City government traffic rules, “No Standing Commercial Vehicles Only” zones only allow commercial vehicles to stand or park at parking spaces controlled by muni-meters, purchase parking at muni-meters located on these streets, and display the receipt on the dashboard.
Passenger vehicles are not allowed to stop a vehicle, while occupied or not, in a “no standing” zone (pdf) unless quickly dropping off or picking up passengers.
“To activate your get out of a parking ticket jail free card, you must STOP, DROP and GO. You cannot wait for your passenger’s safe return. In other words, you cannot walk your 110-year-old Aunt to the corner,”