NYC vigilante films themselves repairing license plates that locals have damaged to avoid fines
Gersh Kuntzman, an accomplished journalist with a career dating back to 1989, spends his days cruising the city streets looking for signs vandalized by drivers for speed camera and red light camera capture to escape
A man has been branded a lawbreaker by the New York City Police Department for fixing license plates that were intentionally defaced to avoid paying fines – a phenomenon officials say the city has seen more than 100 this year “stole” millions of dollars.
The unlikely hero goes by the name of Gersh Kuntzman, whose Twitter account of his exploits has earned him both local hero accolades from his fellow citizens and the wrath of others, including sworn officers.
An accomplished journalist with a career dating back to 1989, Kuntzman spends his days at a desk before setting out to scour the city streets for obscured signs to be recolored or straightened out.
Kuntzman is trying to combat camera bypassing – when drivers cover signs with camera-proof screens and sprays, or blur them to evade speed camera and red light camera detection.
Kuntzman – whose actions have been branded “criminal mischief” by police – has been showing videos in since last month after the arrest of attorney Adam White, who was charged after he removed an object obscuring a non-police license plate in Brooklyn published on social media.
Charges against White were dropped this month while Kuntzman led a crusade against vandalized license plates – which officials said has cost the city more than $100 million in fines.
Kuntzman, meanwhile, argues that the emergence of illegal license plates is part of a recent disregard for traffic rules resulting from the pandemic, which is heartening dangerous driving.
Statistics support Kuntzman’s claims, with at least 125 pedestrians and cyclists killed in traffic accidents so far this year.
Those numbers come after the deadliest year on the city’s streets in recent history, according to data released by Transit Non-Profit Transportation Alternatives 273 people were killed.
The data, which is up significantly from a few years ago, has been attributed to an alarming increase in hit-and-runs, which have doubled since 2018, and a 42 percent increase in pedestrian deaths involving SUVs.
Last year, accidents in the Big Apple killed 124 pedestrians, 50 motorcyclists, 19 cyclists and 15 people on mopeds and e-bikes. More complicated data for this year is set to be released in the coming month.
But as hits and runs have increased – with 93 serious injuries reported last year – arrests for the same offenses have fallen sharply Only 23 percent of hit-and-run cases resulted in an arrest last year, and only 3 percent of them eventually resolved.
The number indicates a pronounced 12 percent drop from 2018, before the pandemic and police protests brought an era of lawlessness to the city that has continued ever since.
Experts and other veteran New Yorkers like Kuntzman have attributed this detrimental phenomenon to camera bypass, and have taken it upon themselves to spot bent, discolored, and other scannable tags and repair them themselves.
However, his mission – which is well documented on social media – drew an unfavorable reaction from the New York City Police Department after it put him on many police vehicles with unreadable tags.
Kuntzman, who does not discriminate, repaired those vehicles like everyone else, prompting police to issue a statement warning that the department takes license plate manipulation “very seriously” — “whether it’s a member of the public or not.” of us is officers.’
Kuntzman, an editor and reporter who was responsible for both The Daily News and The New York Post, has also claimed to have received additional threats from other locals as a result of his actions.
However, the veteran journalist has remained adamant in continuing his campaign a screwdriver for removing covers and fake plates, and a blue Sharpie, which he uses to restore scratched plate letters and numbers.
In a video posted by Kuntzman last week, the Good Samaritan claimed that a car with a defaced license plate belonged to an officer stationed in the 78th Precinct in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Other videos show similar offenses by other city officials, whom Kuntzman and others claim emerge as some of the worst offenders when it comes to license plate laws.
He and other advocates say they often see high concentrations of illegal license plates near courthouses and police stations.
New York City Police Department officials would not comment further on the allegations when contacted by Dailymail.com on Saturday.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11549985/NYC-vigilante-films-fixing-license-plates-locals-damaged-avoid-paying-fines.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 NYC vigilante films themselves repairing license plates that locals have damaged to avoid fines