New York legislators initiate fresh efforts to eliminate ghost cars from the streets

A dedicated team of multiple agencies has been established to tackle the increasing problem of drivers attempting to evade tolls and traffic violations by using counterfeit license plates.

Gov. Kathy Hochul, along with New York City Mayor Eric Adams, NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban, and MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber, made the announcement on Tuesday.

The agencies involved are now collaborating and prioritizing their efforts as congestion pricing approaches. Previously, each agency had been working on this separately, but now they are joining forces with a greater sense of urgency.

The task force has a clear objective: to locate and eliminate “ghost cars.” These elusive vehicles possess forged or modified license plates, rendering them untraceable by traffic cameras and toll readers.

The primary objective is to eliminate vehicles that have counterfeit or altered license plates, as well as those that lack any tags. Authorities state that such cars are frequently unregistered, uninsured, or even stolen.

According to Adams, individuals with criminal intentions have resorted to buying counterfeit or paper license plates from the internet. The purpose behind this practice is to avoid tolls, tickets, and even evade responsibility for grave offenses. However, efforts are now being made to put an end to the use of these so-called ‘ghost plates’ through the collaboration of various law enforcement agencies. Adams made it clear that even though these vehicles may lack physical license plates, the authorities are determined to track down and hold accountable anyone attempting to render their car unidentifiable.

On Monday, the task force stationed themselves at three river crossings that lead to Manhattan. They took action by impounding a total of 73 cars, issuing 282 summonses, and making eight arrests.

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New York Governor Kathy Hochul has emphasized the importance of road safety by announcing the establishment of a city-state task force. Her message is clear: any attempts to modify license plates in order to evade traffic cameras and toll readers will not go unnoticed. Hochul’s top priority is the safety of New Yorkers, and she is determined to work closely with Mayor Adams and law enforcement to swiftly apprehend elusive vehicles and remove them from the roads.

Hochul emphasized her call to action for the Legislature to unite with the ongoing efforts and enact further safeguards for the people of New York through the budget.

The NYC Sheriff’s Office is taking strict action against ghost cars. These are vehicles that use counterfeit plates or fake paper plates, as well as cars that are not registered or insured. Kristin Thorne brings us the details of this crackdown.

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