Why Was New York State DMV Live-Tweeting the New York Auto Show?

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles was live-tweeting the New York International Auto Show yesterday.

Why would staffers at the government agency charged with regulating motor vehicles and their operators be assigned to tweet photos of the 2016 Chevy Malibu, or wait with press for the big Porsche reveal? We have a message in with the DMV to find out, but it’s hard to imagine how this furthers the mission of administering laws to promote safety.

Sure, scoring passes to a glitzy media event beats sitting behind a desk all day. But this is like the NTSB tweeting Richard Branson’s birthday party. While DMV apparently has the resources to dispatch people to the car show, it hasn’t, say, enacted reforms recommended by crash victims to make streets and roads safe from reckless drivers.

Maybe Governor Muscle Car is filling in before he gets around to appointing a new DMV commissioner.

  • BBnet3000

    Cuomo can live tweet the boat show instead. Those 70 foot yachts he gave a tax break to (but not to the 15 footers that merely wealthy people can afford) are actually pretty cool to see in person, and I’ve yet to see one parked in a bike lane.

  • cm

    to be fair, NYSDMV now has a reservation system and you can get out of there in 15 minutes. #pwned

  • SheRidesABike

    Please update when (if) you hear back from the DMV. I cannot wait to hear what absurd rationale they give you for using public funds to promote an industry that already benefits from enormous subsidies and doesn’t care about its huge negative public health impacts.

  • com63

    I’m okay with this, but the DMV should also send a rep to the 5 Boro Bike Expo and similar events. Do pedestrians have any special events?

  • Maggie

    Summer Streets!

  • As part of my job, I have to cover the New York auto show (and, indeed, I was at the reveal of the CT6). There seemed to be some kind of state DMV desk there and maybe some kind of sponsorship of some aspect or other of the show.

    All I would say is that the Javits Center, where the event is held, is a state property and it’s full of advertisements for various state activities. This may be only one of them. I also remember that last year Barbara Fiala was a speaker at an event at the end of the auto show called the World Traffic Safety Symposium, where she dispensed some bromides about how safety was the responsibility of everybody – drivers, pedestrians and cyclists (I criticized the event here: http://invisiblevisibleman.blogspot.com/2014/06/an-uptown-ride-hudson-incident-and-why.html ).

    The bottom line is the auto show is, after the initial media days, turns into a public event, which presumably attracts car nuts (“avid motorists,” probably) from all over the place. I don’t think it’s indefensible to have the state DMV present if they’re giving out good information. It’s obviously silly if they’re just Tweeting pictures of cars. I don’t even do that much and it’s kind of my job.

    Finally, I’d take issue with the idea the auto show is a glitzy event. It’s held in the Javits Center, which is a slice of mid-western mediocrity in New York City. There’s an effort to sprinkle some razmatazz fairy dust over the thing but it’s fundamentally a fairly sorry affair.

    I was also, I suspect, probably the only reporter who attended all the events surrounding the show this week by bike.

  • Oh – and Cadillac are moving into the same office building where I work. I told the CEO to look out for cyclists as he drove to work.

  • And, finally, I spotted this Toyota “urban mobility solution” at the show: https://twitter.com/RKWinvisibleman/status/583345160794324993 It really made me wonder why people don’t just realize the bike has solved many of the problems they’re trying to resolve for a second time.

  • Jamie

    I can see DMV using this event to reach motorists with traffic rule and safety information, and maybe even selling a few vanity plates to bring in some revenue. I’ve attended the motorcycle show, and amid all the hogs and crotch rockets, the NY State Troopers had a table with information about helmet requirements, DWI, rider training, and other things that seem well within their mandate.

  • SheRidesABike

    One hundred percent of the Twitter promo was strictly brand promo. There was one tweet noting a DMV exhibit. That’s it. It wouldn’t be half as ridiculous if there was safety and other PSA info sprinkled through the NYIAS hashtag from NYSDMV, but there were zero tweets of that nature.


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