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Want to Know How Often That Driver Gets Caught Speeding? Ask @HowsMyDrivingNY.

A tweet to @HowsMyDrivingNY turned up 28 violations associated with this license plate, including two each for parking in a crosswalk, parking in front of a fire hydrant, and speeding in school zone. Photo: casio_juarez/Twitter

Ever watch a driver blow by you at twice the speed limit and wonder how often they get busted? Or maybe you keep running across the same illegally parked vehicle and think to yourself, "If this person can get away with this stuff, what else do they try to do?"

Well, now you can find out in a matter of seconds thanks to @HowsMyDrivingNY, a Twitter bot created by Brooklyn resident Brian Howald.

All you have to do is tag @HowsMyDrivingNY in a tweet with the license plate information, and -- presto! -- the car's record of parking violations and camera tickets pops up a few second later in a response.

Take the driver in the photograph above, who parked in the sidewalk on Rogers Avenue at Bergen Street. That wasn't his first rodeo:

There's a growing awareness of the risk posed by drivers who habitually speed and run red lights. Using the city's open data portal, advocates discovered that Dorothy Bruns, who killed two young children with her car earlier this month, had a long history of speeding and red light running.

Howald himself was accosted in a bike lane by State Senator Marty Golden, who's racked up several speeding and red light violations in the past few years, and who ran over and killed a woman in his district in 2005.

The bot makes this information easier for people to look up than the city's open data interface, Howald said. Unlike the city's portal, you can use the bot with a mobile device, and you don't need any specialized knowledge of how to query a database.

"Anyone can go to the city’s open data website and search for a plate, but I think that’s kind of cumbersome," he said. "You have to be at least a little savvy about data to know how to use to database to find what you’re searching for."

With @HowsMyDrivingNY, all you need is a Twitter account to pull up a car's record in a matter of seconds.

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