The city of New York announced this Tuesday a zero tolerance action against “ghost cars” circulating in the streets. In other words, if you use a fake license plate, either paper or vinyl, and so far you have managed to evade the eyes of the authorities, rest assured that this summer you will have a much higher chance of having your vehicle stopped or towed. And depending on the case, could be immediately auctioned off.
Although drivers with fake license plates and license plates routinely receive tickets and impounds, now these surveillance operations will be redoubled after the certainty that a large part of the vehicles stopped this year, in these irregular circumstances, are associated with people who for some reason They want to evade controls.
The false license plates usually have, according to the balance of the authorities, a link to crime. Vehicles equipped with such plates are often used in cases of violence and serious crimes.
“We are chasing and towing the ghost cars. We know that the drivers of these cars they’re up to no good. We will not allow vehicles to become weapons and our streets to become a battlefield,” he said. Alcalde Eric Adams.
800 cars confiscated in 2022
So far this year, they have been confiscated 800 vehiclesmost of which had plates from neighboring states, and even Texas.
Inventorying these seized vehicles, it has been discovered 5 firearms, narcotics, false identification and other false license plates.
Increasingly, NYPD officials have noted that after recent shootings in Brooklyn and the Bronx, suspected gang members they use fake paper license plates. Although the vehicles are caught on surveillance cameras, because the license plate was fake, efforts to find the gunmen are limited.
But it also follows that this “illegality” translates into potential “weapons” against pedestrians.
The most recent clear event was on June 25, 2022, when a stolen Honda with an expired South Carolina license plate, evaded security checkpoints in brooklyn and struck multiple people, fatally injuring a 67-year-old grandmother and seriously injuring an 8-year-old boy.
“An illegal license plate is not a harmless act. It is a clear indication that a person is not willing to operate within the most basic legal framework of society. Ghost cars and the reckless behavior of their owners are a threat to all New Yorkers.” Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks.
Obstructed and temporary paper plates, whether legal or illegal, defraud speed cameras and traffic lights, resulting in increases in dangerous violations. These vehicle identifications can be easily find for sale and buy online.
A statewide database relied on by the Sheriff’s Office and Uniformed officers to help keep city roads safe, includes temporary paper license plate information from only 11 of 50 states, which makes it difficult for patrolling officers to obtain accurate data in routine searches.
the other epidemic
Like the untraceable firearms known as “ghost guns” that are causing a terrible count of shooting victims, the “ghost cars” are fueling an epidemic of virtually untraceable cars that crash and kill pedestrians.
The traffic and vehicle laws of the state, as well as the rules of the Big Apple are clear: the plates must be easily identifiable.
Therefore, covering a car license plate with any material that obscures or distorts it is illegal in New York City. It is also against the law to sell such covers within the city limits.
“We have created a solid initiative to get off the streets to ghost vehicles, which are part of a host of public safety concerns,” said Sheriff Anthony Miranda.
Vehicles with fraudulent or obstructed license plates, towed by the NYPD and the Sheriff’s Office, are often not traded in or sent for auction.
Last year, approximately 25% of the 5,500 vehicles with paper plates that were pulled over for license plate issues and towed away by the NYPD Traffic Control District, were abandoned by their owners.
the uniformed is targeting all 77 police stations in every neighborhood to crack down on hidden and illegal license plates. In addition, special operations have been carried out in 18 neighborhoods in all counties, since the special control strategy began this July.
Until June 2022, 562 of the 1,646 vehicles towed with paper plates They weren’t exchanged either. According to the Sheriff’s Office, it was learned that the Bronx leads the county with the highest number of towed cars.
60% of paper plate vehicles seized by the NYC Sheriff’s Office are auctioned off, as they have never been claimed by their owners.