Since March 2024, and the inception of a multi-agency task force, the New York State Police and partner agencies have continued to crack down on motorists who break the law by hiding or defacing their license plates to avoid detection at toll plazas. They call these vehicles "ghost cars".

A 'ghost car' is a vehicle that is virtually untraceable by traffic cameras and toll readers because of their forged or altered license plates. These automobiles are able to pass through New York State toll plazas without paying until now.

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On Monday March 11, 2024 an inter-agency operation involving the NYPD, the New York City Sheriff’s Office, MTA bridge and tunnel officers, the New York State Police and others, authorities impounded 73 cars, issued 282 summonses, and arrested eight individuals and that was just the beginning.

518 news, ghost cars, New York State Police

Did you now that New York State has generated more than $2 billion in toll revenue in the last 3 years? Most New Yorkers don't like to pay the tolls, especially when you start getting those orange penalty envelopes in the mail, but the money does pay to keep the roads in good condition.

$2 billion is a lot of money but officials indicate that the Empire State is losing an estimated $50 million each year due to 'ghost cars'. Now, according to a press release, Governor Kathy Hochul is leading the charge to crack down on this illegal activity.

If you attempt to alter your license plate to avoid traffic cameras and toll readers, you will be caught. The safety of New Yorkers is my top priority and in partnership with law enforcement, we will swiftly remove elusive vehicles from our roads. Now, I'm calling on the Legislature to join our efforts and work with us to pass additional protections for New Yorkers in the final budget. - Governor Hochul

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