New York City Council Header
File #: Int 0197-2006    Version: * Name: Sale of chemicals that prevent vehicular license plates from being photographed.
Type: Introduction Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on Consumer Affairs
On agenda: 3/22/2006
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the sale of chemicals that prevent vehicular license plates from being photographed.
Sponsors: Tony Avella, Gale A. Brewer, Leroy G. Comrie, Jr., Simcha Felder, Lewis A. Fidler, James F. Gennaro, G. Oliver Koppell, Michael C. Nelson, Domenic M. Recchia, Jr., Larry B. Seabrook, Kendall Stewart, David I. Weprin, Thomas White, Jr.
Council Member Sponsors: 13
Attachments: 1. Cover Sheet

Int. No. 197

 

By Council Members Avella, Brewer, Comrie, Felder, Fidler, Gennaro, Koppell, Nelson, Recchia Jr., Seabrook, Stewart, Weprin and White Jr.

 

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the sale of chemicals that prevent vehicular license plates from being photographed.

 

Be it enacted by the Council as follows:

                     

Section 1. Legislative declaration.  There are upwards of 150 red-light traffic cameras in operation in New York City.  These cameras use a motion sensor to detect a vehicle crossing an intersection against a red traffic signal.  Once the sensor is triggered, the camera instantly photographs the vehicle’s license plate.  The vehicle’s owner can then be located through records of the Department of Motor Vehicles and such owner is typically mailed a summons for the violation alleged.

                           To assist this method of traffic enforcement, section 402 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law states that license plates must be kept clean and easily readable.  Further, state law provides that license plates may not knowingly be covered or coated with any synthetic material or substance that conceals or obscures such license plates, or that distorts a recorded or photographic image of such number plates.  

                     Despite these state regulations, auto stores are presently permitted to sell various chemicals, often in the form of a spray, that can be applied to license plates to make them hyper-reflective and unreadable when a red-light camera flashes.  Such chemicals create a clear hi-gloss reflective finish over the license plate. The glossy surface acts as a mirror to reflect a photo radar flash back to the camera overexposing the image, rendering it unreadable.  The unreadable photograph frustrates law enforcement’s ability to locate the vehicle’s owner and issue summonses. 

The exclusive purpose of such products is to permit motorists to violate traffic regulations without penalty.  Accordingly, the Council finds it necessary to prohibit the sale of substances designed to conceal or obscure vehicular license plates.

§2.  Chapter 4 of title 20 of the administrative code of the city of New York is hereby amended by the addition of a new subchapter 13, to read as follows:

SUBCHAPTER 13

 

SALE OF SUBSTANCES THAT INTERFERE WITH PHOTOGRAPHING VEHICULAR LICENSE PLATES

 

§20-699.7  Sale of substances that interfere with photographing vehicular license plates.

§20-699.8  Enforcement.

§20-699.9  Penalty.

 

§20-699.7  Sale of substances that interfere with photographing vehicular

license plates.  It shall be unlawful for any person, corporation, firm or partnership to sell any material or substance for application to a vehicular license plate that conceals or obscures such license plates, or that prevents or distorts a recorded or photographic image of such license plate

§20-699.8  Enforcement.  The commissioner of the department of consumer affairs shall have the authority to promulgate rules and regulations for the implementation and enforcement of this subchapter. 

§20-699.9  Penalty.  Any person, corporation, firm or partnership who shall violate the provisions of this subchapter, or rules and regulations promulgated hereunder, shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than two hundred fifty dollars nor more than one thousand dollars for each violation.  

§3.  This local law shall take effect thirty days after its enactment. 

 

T.S.F.

LS# 115

01.31.06