New York Is Working Hard To Bust Ghost Cars

Estimated read time 3 min read

The term “ghost car” sounds scary and has been used by the New York government to justify a crackdown on them in the city. Hundreds paid the price for being on the wrong side of the law as local media cheered on the move, along with some residents.

An Italian vigilante has been cutting down speed cameras.

If you’re wondering what exactly a “ghost car” is it seems to be a catch-all term for people who have a vehicle which uses a fake license plate, is lacking a front plate, has part of the plate obscured, or the registration has expired.

Supposedly, the main aim of those driving ghost cars is to avoid paying the many tolls one must endure when driving around the area or avoiding traffic enforcement cameras. That’s why the state has created a new multi-agency task force to bust offenders.

The presumption is every last person driving one of these offending vehicles is a scofflaw looking to burden society, but is that really the case?

Independent video journalist gifterphotos interviewed a man on camera who received a court summons after he was caught by police driving a ghost car. The guy was upset since he claims the vehicle he was driving belongs to a friend and he was just borrowing it.

Is that story legitimate? We don’t know, but it does expose a potential problem with enforcement.

In that same video uploaded to YouTube, which we’ve shared, police are seen not only having cars towed but leading some suspects away in handcuffs. It’s possible those individuals already had warrants for their arrest.

Interestingly, the array of ghost cars ranged all the way from older Hondas to newer Bentleys and everything in between. It seems some people are tired of paying tolls, a concept which is foreign to some fortunate drivers who live where such things are a rarity.

Another motivation for cracking down on ghost cars is the upcoming congestion pricing New York is set to enact. That means during busy times, drivers will have to shell out even more money for the privilege of traveling around the Big Apple.

Officials are concerned that will motivate even more people to obscure their plate or put on a fake one.

Like speed cameras and other enforcement methods many find heavy-handed, we expect at least a good minority of New Yorkers aren’t okay with this ghost car crackdown. It’s happened before, but never on this scale.

Image via gifterphotos/YouTube

Steven Symes

Steven Symes is an accomplished automotive journalist with a passion for all things related to cars. His extensive knowledge and love for the automotive world shine through in his writing, which covers a diverse range of topics.

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