Transit advocates say the penalties are nonetheless not extreme sufficient.
“With turnstile jumpers being tackled and handcuffed by the NYPD over $2.75, drivers committing fraud should get more than just a slap on the wrist,” Danny Pearlstein, coverage and communications director with the advocacy group Riders Alliance, mentioned. “Plate fraud not only robs the MTA, it also evades speed and red light cameras, intensifying the clear and present danger on our roads. Driving is a privilege not a right. Fraudsters behind the wheel should lose their license and registration.”
The MTA not too long ago introduced the creation of a blue ribbon panel to handle fare evasion throughout its system, together with buses, subways, commuter rails, bridges and tunnels. The company mentioned it expects to lose $50 million this yr to toll evasion, in comparison with $245 million on subways and $205 million on misplaced bus fares.
NYPD Deputy Inspector Conor Wynne famous there was usually a connection between individuals who use fraudulent license plates and different crimes. Drivers will use these automobiles as getaway automobiles after robberies, or worse, he mentioned.
“There’s a nexus to shootings, because when detectives go to do their investigation it’s a roadblock to them because that plate is either illegitimate, not assigned to that vehicle or unreadable,” Wynne mentioned.
MTA Chairman Janno Lieber mentioned toll evasion can be theft of cash the company must cowl working bills. The MTA’s $18.5 billion price range depends on fares and tolls to cowl half its working prices.
“It’s safety, it’s honesty, it also means you’re stealing from other New Yorkers if you’re not paying the tolls that help us run our bus, subway, and commuter rail system,” Lieber mentioned. “So don’t do it, have a great driving season, but please make sure you follow the law on license plates.”
Final yr, an MTA employee was busted driving a car with lined plates who additionally registered his car a number of occasions to keep away from paying over $100,000 in tolls and charges.