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Unlicensed Driving

Friday’s Headlines: Vice News’s Great Get Edition

“Left Lane” sells screen covers. Photo: Vice News

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Wow! Here I was committing criminal mischief all over town, yet Vice News got a truly awesome scoop.

Check out Meena Duerson's great interview with a guy who admits he can't be bothered to drive the speed limit ("I have places to go," he says) so he's not only invested in an illegal plate-flipper, but he also has gone into business helping other scofflaws evade tolls and speed cameras.

Every single person at the DOT and the NYPD's Transportation Bureau should be ordered to drop everything and watch this short primer on the Sisyphean task of keeping reckless drivers from terrorizing our streets (if it's not working — because nothing works on Wordpress on the last workday of the year — click the player below):

The video really put me to shame, given that I've spent the last six weeks un-defacing, uncovering, repainting and unfolding scofflaws' plates only to be shown up by a real reporter with the guts to nab, as we call it in the business, "a great get."

Well, not to be outdone, I went out and consoled myself ... with a few more of my own bricks in the wall of resistance to our scofflaw oppressors. First, here's a guy who claims to work for the city Law Department playing fast and loose with. the very rules he's supposed to be enforcing [UPDATE: After this tweet went up, a spokesman for the Law Department said the placard in the video is fake and that the agency doesn’t even give real placards for employees’ own cars. In addition, the Law Department claims this driver is not a city employee. That doesn’t change the facts for me, though: the cover is illegal, the driver an asshole, and fake placards remain a major issue in New York City]:

Earlier, I ran into an old friend on Prospect Park West:

And I also tangled with a fake Floridian taking up space in front of my favorite hot dog joint, Dog Day Afternoon:

So all in all, there was some good hunting out there.

In other news:

  • It looks like there will be more road deaths than murders this year, which is a reminder that the city has its public safety budget priorities all messed up. (NY Post, Gothamist)
  • The Post also reported that there have been roughly 1,500 shootings so far this year — which is a lot, except when you compare it to the roughly 48,000 people who have been injured in car crashes over the same period.
  • Just before the Republicans take over the House, Sen. Chuck Schumer announced the first in what will hopefully be a long line of federal grants to start the preliminary work that will lead to the Gateway tunnels. (NYDN)
  • This Post headline unfortunately says it all: "Private guards hired by MTA arrested for NYC subway beatdown."
  • The Times looked at the fantasy that the Penn Station area is "blighted."
  • A senior citizen died of wounds he suffered earlier in the month when the driver of a BMW struck him in Queens. (NYDN)
  • Smith-Ninth Street is your favorite subway stop (well, it is the highest). (amNY)
  • Like Streetsblog, amNY and Gothamist covered the rise in Citi Bike prices.
  • Our colleague Clarence Eckerson Jr. was referenced in the latest analysis of how Jersey City got to the zero in Vision Zero. (Bloomberg)
  • Love, love, and love: Rest In Peace, Pele. (amNY)
  • Finally, let us praise our benefactors, who gave on the penultimate day of our December Donation Drive: Thanks, John! Thanks, Peter (and the employer match from Google)! Thanks, Greg! Thanks, Ed! Thanks, Mike! Thanks, Kinh! Thanks, John! Thanks, Joanne! Thanks, Jonathan! Thanks, Terry! Thanks, Andrew! Thanks, John D.! Thanks, Erik!

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