Some Law Enforcement Officers Are Using Plastic Covers to Obscure Their License Plates, Investigation Finds

It's a way to avoid speed cameras and tolls.

While red lights and speeding cameras make our streets safer and tolls pay for bridges and roads, some law enforcement officers may have found a way to avoid them.

An Inside Edition investigation, which will air in full Thursday, found that some officers in New York City are obscuring their license plates with plastic covers.

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The covers allow the license plates to be read clearly from straight on, but when viewed from an angle, the characters disappear so they cannot be read by traffic and toll cameras.

Inside Edition's Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero found more than 100 vehicles parked throughout the streets of New York City with the illegally obscured license plates. 

On the cars' dashboards, she found parking placards indicating the vehicles belong to law enforcement officers or employees of the police department. All of the cars were parked near police precincts and courthouses.

Guerrero saw one car with obscured front and rear plates and a placard on the dashboard showing the owner was with the New York City Police Department. She waited for him to return and approached him as he neared his car.

"Is this your car?" she asked.

"Yes," he responded.

"Can you tell me why you have illegal cover on your license plate?" she asked, but he turned away.

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He said he would remove the plate covers so Guerrero offered him a screwdriver and he took them off in front of our cameras.

The NYPD told Inside Edition they are investigating.

"This is an issue the Department has been aware of and is working to address," J. Peter Donald, assistant commissioner for communication and public Information, told Inside Edition. "The Department has instructed precinct commanders to ensure officers in their commands are complying with traffic laws and internal guidelines on license plate covers.

"Just this week, there were several spot inspections in lower Manhattan to ensure personal vehicles of police officers are following traffic laws."

To see another major city where law enforcement officers are allegedly using this scheme, tune into Inside Edition on Thursday. Check here for local listings.

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