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NYC Drivers Avoiding Tickets with License Plate Tampering

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NYC Drivers Avoiding Tickets with License Plate Tampering

In 2014, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio introduced Vision Zero, a plan to eliminate all traffic fatalities on the city’s streets. Part of the initiative included installing more speed detection devices and red light cameras. Though it seemed like a good way to catch drivers who were breaking the law, motorists have come up with new ways to avoid traffic tickets from these machines. Many drivers now either have their license plates in the wrong position, or cover it with tape or plastic that causes a glare when a photo is taken.

In the past two years, nearly 145,000 traffic tickets have been evaded by moving or covering up license plates. When officers reviewed these photos to issue citations, they recorded that they couldn’t do because of glare from the flash, overexposed sun, missing plates and other reasons. Some drivers have taken it to another level, installing clear overs over their plates. When looked on from the back, the plate can be read clearly. But from an angle, the plate is distorted. Though putting anything over a license plate is illegal in New York, these covers can be bought for as little as $5 from online and in-store retailers.

Since 2014, there were about 85,000 red light tickets thrown out because the license plate was obscured. In addition, nearly 60,000 speeding tickets were also thrown out. However, that represents less than 4 percent of all violations caught by the speed devices and red light cameras. In total, 1.5 million tickets were given out for running red lights, and 2.4 million were issued for driving too fast.

In 2015 alone, the New York Police Department issued more than 3,300 tickets for improper or missing plates. That’s the highest in five years. However, critics say police need to do more to take these potentially dangerous drivers off the road.

If you have been issued a traffic ticket in New York, we may be able to help you fight it. Contact the attorneys at Feifer & Greenberg today for a free consultation.


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Your office is in NYC. How do you handle cases statewide?

We have organized a statewide network of attorneys. In our network are both attorneys who work for Feifer & Greenberg and attorneys who work for other firms that regularly provide of-counsel representation to our clients. This statewide network allows us to match clients in a particular county or court with local attorneys who regularly appear on similar matters in the same county or court. It enables us to help clients anywhere in New York State and in our opinion provide particularly effective and affordable representation for our clients. Local attorneys can draw on their particular local experiences and, with travel time and expense removed from the equation, help us keep our legal fees low.

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We can only guarantee that we will provide the best possible client service and legal representation. We can’t guarantee results. These are legal proceedings and we can’t promise you that every case will end in our favor. We will always honestly assess your case (both good and bad) and set realistic expectations during your consultation. We’ll discuss our goals and objectives but no attorney can ever guarantee how a case will conclude.
Should I just pay my ticket or should I fight?

We recommend fighting almost all tickets. Even if the current NY traffic tickets aren’t particularly harmful, you have an incentive to keep your record clean for the future. Convictions quickly lead to surcharges, insurance increases and other complications. You should strongly consider any decision to pay a ticket without fighting.

How can our traffic ticket lawyers help you?

Our lawyers are experienced, prepared attorneys who understand the nuances of fighting traffic tickets. Experience, preparation and good decision making help us to help our clients avoid points, surcharges, insurance increases and the other negatives that can easily result from a traffic ticket.


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