Saturday, November 8, 2014

Civil servants obscuring license plates

From NBC:

A popular breed of license plate shield is allowing motorists to evade tickets and tolls even though the plastic cover appears transparent.

The "PhotoMaskCover" and similar products polarize light so that plate numbers and letters are clearly visible from directly behind a car.

But when viewed from an angle, the characters are obscured. Because cameras at toll bridges, tunnels, and intersections are often positioned from a side angle, the plate covers can help scofflaws slip through E-ZPass lanes and run red lights without fear of being tracked down for their transgressions.

"What they do is they direct the light at the plate and they obscure it from where they think the reader is going to be," said Port Authority Captain Ron Shindel, who is in charge of security at the George Washington Bridge. Shindel said his officers have made at least a dozen arrests for illegally covered license plates at bridge toll stations in the last thirty days.

The I-Team found the polarizing plate covers on vehicles in New Jersey and New York, despite laws in both states that prohibit the obscuring of license plates. In some cases even cars and trucks displaying law enforcement placards had the illegal plate covers.

Last month the I-Team spotted a black SUV parked outside the NYPD 103rd Precinct in Queens with the illegal covers obscuring both front and rear license plates. On the dashboard, a makeshift placard read "PO DiFalco 103 Pct Shield 24212"

NYPD spokesman Sgt. Brendan Ryan sent the I-Team a statement saying "this matter is under internal review."

Attempts to reach Officer DiFalco were unsuccessful.

The I-Team also spotted PhotoMaskCovers or similar devices on a Jeep displaying an FDNY placard and a Chrysler parked in a spot reserved for employees of the Nassau County Police Department.


Anonymous said...

If the police are breaking the law then remove them from the force and strip them of their pension.

Any car parked in the city with these plate covers should be towed immediately. If a cop sees one they should pull them over and tow the car on the spot.

georgetheatheist said...

The straws are getting higher and higher on the camels' backs.

See? People are fighting back (albeit illegally) from these idiotic toll increases. Last Monday I decided to take a hike on a pleasnt day over in the Palisades. With E-Zpass: 2 Triborough Bridge Tolls to and fro...$10.66 and the GW...$11.00.

$21.66 just to get out of this city for a day in the country!?!?

Oppressive Government (tolls) vs. American Ingenuity (plastic plates).

Can you hear the camel groaning?

Anonymous said...

To the first anonymous. Relax. At most its a $98 equipment summons on a vehicle. Cops shouldn't have them on their cars, but to fire someone and tow a car over an equipment violation is ridiculous.

I would rather see cars towed that have no plates, registration, or insurance on them. Those are the guys who will hit someone and then take off.

Anonymous said...

I dont see a problem with these covers. There are so many bs speed camera and red light cameras snapping pictures the second you go thru a red or go a bit faster on an open stretch of road its crazy. A human should be the only thing doing enforcement. A human can use common sense and reasoning in when to issue or not issue a ticket. The cameras are out of control.

I think the amount of dark tinted windows out there are much more dangerous. As a pedestrian you can't see the driver and you don't know if they see you and are going to turn into you or not. Please do a story on how out of control tinted windows are.

Anonymous said...

Now isn't that special?

Anonymous said...

The license plate cover is prima facie evidence of intent to speed and run red lights.

The cameras are out of control and give you a ticket for going a little over? Stop watching fox news they give you a ticket for going 11+ in a school zone during the schoolday only.

Chris Russo said...

Wow! An amazing, hard hitting story on..... Plastic covers! Journalism at its best! Now how about you do a real quality of life story on the drag racing that goes on almost every single weekend night (and some week nights) around the Boat House in Flushing Meadows Park. Wouldn't even require a whole lot of investigative journalism. Just take a drive down there near the GCP on a weekend night. Goes on from around midnight to 4 or so. So loud that no one on the other side of the GCP can sleep.
If you call the 110 pct on a weekend, you're usually told they're too busy to send someone down.

Anonymous said...

They should be fired if caught!

Anonymous said...

"The cameras are out of control and give you a ticket for going a little over? Stop watching fox news they give you a ticket for going 11+ in a school zone during the schoolday only"

So what is your take on the city placing a speed camera at the exit ramp off a highway? (One example is on Horace harding eastbound just before Francis lewis blvd its at the end of the exit ramp from the LIE). Is that justified or just a way to get revenue? Everyone is going over the speed limit of 25 coming off a highway exit ramp unless you slam on the brakes.

Anonymous said...

You can safely slow down once you are in the exit lane before you leave the highway. No need to slam on the brakes unless you swerved into the exit ramp at the last second.

Anonymous said...

How often do we see cops violating the law? This is news?

Anonymous said...

These can't be enforced because there isn"t enough cops.

Anonymous said...

Interesting points of view here: hire more cops, fire more cops; enforce the laws, how dare the government enforce the laws. Our elected officials are laughing at how easy it is to get us to fight among ourselves.

JQ said...

more sad reflections on selective enforcement of the cops and the corrupt nature and protection of those who are paid to enforce the laws no matter how petty the crime is.

another one is the uselessness of cameras to prevent speeding and stealing tolls.

and this business that makes these scofflaw shields is a criminal enterprise that should be shut down.

Anonymous said...

cops are scumbags. this is not news.

laws arent for them, only the peasants they abuse.

Anonymous said...

It's petty corruption for police and fire to obscure their license plates. The same goes for the super-dark illegal window tint, the illegal placards on their private vehicles. It is an " in your face " reminder that they don't think the laws apply to them.