New York legislators take action to eliminate ghost cars from city streets

A multi-agency task force has been established to tackle the increasing number of drivers who attempt to evade tolls and traffic violations by using counterfeit license plates.

Governor Kathy Hochul, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, NYPD Commissioner Edward Caban, and MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber were among the officials who made the announcement on Tuesday.

The involved agencies emphasize that they have been individually carrying out this task in the past. However, now they are collaborating and working with increased urgency in light of the impending implementation of congestion pricing.

The task force has a specific objective: to identify and eliminate what are commonly referred to as “ghost cars.” These are vehicles that cannot be traced by traffic cameras or toll readers because their license plates have been forged or altered.

The primary objective is to eliminate vehicles with counterfeit or altered license plates, as well as those that have no plates at all. Authorities assert that such cars are frequently unregistered, uninsured, or potentially stolen.

According to Adams, outlaws have been resorting to buying counterfeit or paper license plates from the internet in order to avoid tolls, tickets, and even escape responsibility for serious crimes. However, the use of these so-called ‘ghost plates’ is being tackled head-on by a task force consisting of multiple agencies. Adams confidently stated, “Even though these vehicles may not have license plates, we are well aware of their identity, and we are determined to pursue anyone who attempts to render their car untraceable.”

On Monday, the task force took action at three river crossings that lead into Manhattan, resulting in the impoundment of 73 cars. Additionally, they issued 282 summonses and made eight arrests.

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New York Governor Hochul emphasized the importance of public safety by announcing the establishment of a city-state task force. The primary objective of this task force is to address the issue of license plate alterations in order to evade traffic cameras and toll readers. Governor Hochul made it clear that anyone attempting to modify their license plate will face consequences as the task force will ensure their capture. This collaborative effort between Governor Hochul, Mayor Adams, and law enforcement aims to swiftly remove these elusive vehicles from New York roads, prioritizing the safety of its residents.

In addition, Hochul emphasized her request for the Legislature to collaborate and implement further safeguards for the residents of New York through budgetary means.

The NYC Sheriff’s Office is taking strong measures against ghost cars, which refers to vehicles that have fake plates, fake paper plates, or are unregistered or uninsured. In this report, Kristin Thorne sheds light on the efforts being made to combat this issue.

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