Scofflaws use foliage to bypass tolls and traffic cameras

These mockers get on their feet.

Cheeky Big Apple drivers – including city employees – have been spotted around the city covering their license plates with fall leaves to avoid tolls, red lights and speed cameras.

“You noticed it immediately [it’s intentional] when you’re driving 70 miles an hour and the blade is stuck to the plate,” said Daniel DeCrescenzo Jr., president of MTA Bridges and Tunnels.

Motorist Watch Dogs to have Posted on social media videos and photos of cars with leaves — and even whole branches — attached to license plates with glue or tape.

“It upsets me deeply as once too many times my life has been on the line just to see someone pull away with of course a clogged license plate,” Brianna Brooke, a veterinary technician, told The Post.

Photo of a BMW car using a tree branch to obscure its license plate.
Scofflaws can face a $300 fine if they intentionally deface their license plates.
Briana Brooke

After a silver car with a branch on the license plate speeding at a red light nearly crushed Brooke earlier this month, she shared on Reddit a photo she took of a black BMW in Forest Hills, Queens, with a leafy one Branch stuck through driver’s license plate frame.

According to the Bike Lanes NYC Twitter account, the scofflaw foliage season appears to be “relatively new.” The Motorist Monitor said they’ve counted at least eight cars with green cover-ups so far this year, often in the Downtown Brooklyn area.

A car spotted near the courts had a fake maple leaf on its license plate – and a district attorney’s parking sign on the dashboard.

“Most of them know they won’t be caught by the police or the traffic department,” the Twitter user said.

A picture of a license plate from New York.

Many motorists use tape and glue to hold the foliage on their plates.

A picture of a car on the side of a New York street.

“Most of them know they won’t be caught by the police or traffic police,” said one Twitter user.

Drivers who intentionally mask or deface their licenses to avoid tickets or tolls could face a $300 fine. The city has repeatedly cracked down over the years on motorists’ bizarre and extreme attempts to avoid cameras reading their tags.

Mayor Adams in July announced a concerted law enforcement effort to blow up “ghost cars” or those with expired or fake license plates. In December, the city council passed legislation banning the sale of toll covers, and in that session introduced legislation requiring the DOT to report cars dodging red lights and speed cameras with unreadable license plates.

“It’s a security issue, it’s an issue in terms of [city] Revenue, it’s an issue of making sure we have safe roads and holding people accountable,” said Councilor Selvena Brooks-Powers (D-Queens), who chairs the Transport and Infrastructure Committee.

The MTA has lost $19 million as of August 31 of this year due to unreadable license plates.

The city has seen subpoenas for blocked license plates down in 2022 to 5,430 through October, compared to 10,656 through October 2021, according to police data. Scofflaws use foliage to bypass tolls and traffic cameras


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