Last Updated on May 23, 2022 by Lawrence Berezin
Illegally obstructed plates cost NY millions of dollars in lost revenue
Obstructed plates are the scourge of law enforcement, the NY legislature, and the NYC Council. Moreover, they are as mad as hell and will no longer take it. As a result, all the drivers with Groucho Marx plates beware. The ides of June is coming.
Law enforcement crackdown on obstructed plates
MTA and law enforcement agencies announced Friday, May 20, 2022, that they are cracking down on motorists who use fake, obscured, or covered license plates to avoid paying tolls.
The collaborative effort aims to combat deliberate attempts to prevent tolling cameras from identifying license plates through increased enforcement and by sharing information and best practices to identify bad actors on the road.
The coordinated law enforcement effort aims to not only crack down on the evasion of tolls through forged or obstructed license plates but to curtail motorists who use similar deceptive tactics to hide more serious crimes and to evade speed and red-light cameras across the region.Eyewitness news ABC7
Drivers can expect substantial punishment.
Johnny law is ready to take your car and transport you to a safe place to call for a ride home. Yikes!
“This year alone, the Port Authority Police Department has written more than 4,000 summonses for toll evasion for people who owe more than $1.7 million collectively. Since 2018, more than 51,000 vehicle registrations have been suspended for failure to pay tolls,” Bramwell-Stewart said.
What’s different about this new effort, which begins at the start of the summer driving season, is that everybody is getting into the act – State Police, NYPD, New York City Sheriff, Port Authority, and MTA.
MTA head Janno Lieber says think twice if you have a fake license plate or a device to hide your plate.”
A man on a mission
Here’s the story of a guy obsessed with fake license plates. Meanwhile, he searches for them and fixes the obstructed plates. Really!
Liam Quigley, 29, is on a mission to fix illegally obscured license plates — an effort to hold accountable scofflaws who fiddle with their tags to make them unreadable to toll and speed cameras — and posted a montage of his work on Twitter Thursday.
“I started noticing it in maybe 2017, especially outside [police] precincts: plates mysteriously bent in half, or having tape over certain letters,” Quigley, a student and freelance journalist, told The Post.
The culprits are often NYPD or other city or state employees, according to Quigley, who said he isn’t afraid of confronting them but tries to avoid it.
“I do a pretty careful risk assessment before I touch license plates. Even though the plates belong to the state DMV, people get very spicy when you’re near their cars,” he said.
“If it’s a city vehicle, like DOT, I’ll do it in traffic. There was one time I did it to a [Department of Environmental Protection] truck and was like, ‘Hey man, I fixed your plate for you.'”
Keep reading about Quigley
Another time, Quigley said, he chased down a Long Island Rail Road truck near the Van Wyck Expressway in Jamaica, Queens, and managed to fix its bent plates without the driver even noticing.
Other operations haven’t gone as smoothly: “A cop stopped me and demanded my ID. I said no, so he took a photo of me,” Quigley said.
“It’s my nature to be obnoxious,” he joked.
The city itself launched a crackdown in 2017 on cops using plastic covers to obscure the plate numbers on their cars, after reporting by the Post.
Do you have a quick question for Larry?
It’s not just NY
Here’s the story about a Florida senior citizen with a creative way to obstruct his plate when passing under a toll
Can you get a parking ticket for an obstructed plate?
4-08(j) Standing or parking vehicles that violate registration and inspection rules are covered or
have the VIN obscured.
(8) Vehicle covers prohibited. No person shall stand or park a vehicle having a cover on it that obscures the make, color, vehicle identification number (VIN), license plates, and/or registration and inspection stickers, and/or restricts entry to the vehicle if such vehicle is standing or parked in violation of posted rules.
The iconic plate frame can trigger a parking ticket for an obscured plate. Here’s a story about how little can be covered to get a parking ticket.
The crackdown on fake plates has been brewing for a long time. But, all signs from Johnny Law point to an action-packed summer of enforcement. You don’t want to interrupt a family vacation with a trip to the hoosegow. Likewise, don’t ignore the ides of June.
Drive with a legal plate properly attached to the front and rear of your chariot.
Be smart. Be safe.