New York lawmakers launch new crackdown to remove ghost cars from streets

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Wednesday, March 13, 2024
NY lawmakers launch new crackdown to remove ghost cars
Sonia Rincon has more on the campaign to remove ghost cars off the streets of New York City.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A multi-agency task force is now in place to combat the growing number of drivers trying to skirt tolls and traffic violations with fake license plates.

Gov. 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 Tuesday.

The agencies involved say it is something they've all been doing separately -- now they're doing it together and with more urgency as congestion pricing approaches.

The task force is dedicated to identifying and removing so-called "ghost cars" -- which are cars that are untraceable by traffic cameras and toll readers due to forged or altered license plates.

The main goal is to remove cars with fake or modified license plates and those with no tags at all. Officials say those cars are often unregistered, uninsured or even stolen.

"Outlaws have been purchasing fake or paper license plates online to avoid tolls and tickets, as well as to evade accountability for serious crimes, but we're pumping the brakes on the use of 'ghost plates' with the help of this multi-agency task force," Adams said. "These cars might not have license plates, but we've got their number, and we're going after anyone who tries to make their car untraceable."

On Monday alone, the task force was stationed at three river crossings that enter Manhattan and impounded 73 cars, issued 282 summonses and arrested eight individuals.

"By launching this city-state task force, we are sending a clear message: if you attempt to alter your license plate to avoid traffic cameras and toll readers, you will be caught," Hochul said. "The safety of New Yorkers is my top priority and in partnership with Mayor Adams and law enforcement, we will swiftly remove elusive vehicles from our roads."

Hochul also said she is calling on the Legislature to join the efforts and to pass additional protections for New Yorkers in the budget.

RELATED | Eyewitness News sees first-hand how NYC sheriffs are cracking down on ghost cars

The NYC Sheriff's Office is cracking down on ghost cars - cars with fake plates, fake paper plates and cars that are unregistered or uninsured. Kristin Thorne has the story.


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