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New York - Trucker Used Flip-Up License Plate to Evade NJ-NY Bridge Toll

Published on: October 15, 2011 11:31 PM
By: AP
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New York - A Virginia truck driver used a device that could have come from a James Bond movie to try to get out of paying the $65 toll to cross the George Washington Bridge into New York City, police say.

Nelson Vaquiz of Beaverdam, Va., was arrested on charges of using a cable in his truck cab to flip up his front license plate while going through a gateless toll lane on Interstate 95 without a toll transponder, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said Thursday. Vaquiz had also bent up his rear plate so it couldn’t be read by cameras, police said.

Truck drivers have complained about steep toll increases that the Port Authority says it needs to finish building the new World Trade Center. By 2016, a five-axle truck will have to pay $105 to cross the bridge.

Some drivers zip through the gateless express lanes while obscuring their license plates so the Port Authority cannot track them down and bill them. These toll cheats cost the Port Authority $14 million in 2009 and 2010.

“Our police department takes this very seriously and are on the lookout for such maneuvers,” Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico said. “Hopefully this will serve as a lesson.”

Vaquiz went through the E-ZPass lane on the New Jersey side of the bridge with a truck carrying pipes at 6:35 a.m. Saturday, police said.

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A Port Authority police officer saw Vaquiz’s license plate drop back into place and ordered the driver to pull over, but he did not stop, Marsico said. Other officers forced him to stop before he could go over the bridge, Marsico said.

Police impounded the truck. Vaquiz, 36, was charged with theft of service, possession of burglar tools and eluding arrest. He was released on bail.

Calls to his business phone in Beaverdam were not answered.

The arrest was first reported by the New York Post.

The Port Authority says traffic over its Hudson River crossings has plummeted because of the economy and it needs the additional money to complete the new World Trade Center and to make upgrades to its bridges and on-ramps.

On Sept. 18, cash tolls for a five-axle truck rose from $40 to $65, and they will continue to rise gradually to $105 on Dec. 6, 2015.

Spy hero James Bond used an Aston Martin sports car with revolving license plates in the 1964 film “Goldfinger.” Some websites sell retractable license plate holders for “off-road use” for as little as $75.



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Read Comments (16)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Oct 15, 2011 at 11:58 PM Anonymous Says:

we all hate the higher tolls but have to pay them. What he did is mamash ganavah and he should be punished to deter others from playing the same game.

2

 Oct 16, 2011 at 12:06 AM harryw Says:

Kudos to this driver. I just wish that many more will follow suit. These thieves called MTA is robbing us at daylight and the isn't a single law enforcment agency to stand up for us and come to our rescue.

We have no choice. Its us citizens who must act and fend off those gangsters.

3

 Oct 16, 2011 at 12:36 AM m Says:

We should keep doing it until they lower the prices again

4

 Oct 16, 2011 at 02:39 AM Joe-Shmoe Says:

gonev mun haganev! guess duna dmalchusa... the law is pa can rob you dry. as long as our beloved politicians are in on it, the law doesn't let us share the highway heist law. that's only there for the pa.

5

 Oct 16, 2011 at 06:26 AM c Says:

Its an outrage that money collected from tolls goes to anything other than road upkeep and maintenance.

6

 Oct 16, 2011 at 07:51 AM Anonymous Says:

port authority are thieves and its not dina demalchusa its a private business

7

 Oct 16, 2011 at 07:53 AM Anonymous Says:

and we are being held hostage by them

8

 Oct 16, 2011 at 07:56 AM kingizzy Says:

Awesome...always wanted one

9

 Oct 16, 2011 at 09:25 AM pikech Says:

"and it needs the additional money to complete the new World Trade Center" WHAT??? Take private investors for the project DON'T tax us by force!!!!

10

 Oct 16, 2011 at 01:53 PM The Professor Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

port authority are thieves and its not dina demalchusa its a private business

The Port Authority is a public agency owned by the states of New York and New Jersey. Dina demalchusa dina, especially in regard to stealing, would apply even if the Port Authority were privately owned. Perhaps you should channel some of your frustration into revisiting Mesechta Boba Metzia....

11

 Oct 16, 2011 at 03:49 PM shredready Says:

maybe Yoel Weisshaus and AAA will role back the tolls

12

 Oct 17, 2011 at 09:46 AM abudaud Says:

And he is not even jewish!!??
the only way to avoid paying the high toll charges is to no drive in to NYC! The MTA will never lower the toll price and New Yorkers pay the price for living in such city
so if you really want to pay less, move out of the city and never come to visit!
A few years back I picked up and moved and I'm happy I did. better quality of life, and lower cost of living.

13

 Oct 17, 2011 at 12:33 PM BuckyinWisconsin Says:

The only tolls I pay are to visit Chicago. Of course, that is because there are no Kosher restaurants where we live and we need to go to Chicago to eat out! So, these are teh choices we make. A Gutten Moed to one and all!

14

 Oct 17, 2011 at 07:03 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
m Says:

We should keep doing it until they lower the prices again

m Says: Says:“ We should keep doing it until they lower the prices again ”

Yes, because the first reaction the PA has to something like this is "maybe we should lower the tolls!"

In actuality, if they can't this from happening, they won't lower tolls, they will raise them to recoup the money they lose, fool!

15

 Oct 17, 2011 at 07:05 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #13  
BuckyinWisconsin Says:

The only tolls I pay are to visit Chicago. Of course, that is because there are no Kosher restaurants where we live and we need to go to Chicago to eat out! So, these are teh choices we make. A Gutten Moed to one and all!

Just out of curiosity, why would you think what you do to go out to eat has any relevance to this article?

no offense....

16

 Oct 17, 2011 at 07:09 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
harryw Says:

Kudos to this driver. I just wish that many more will follow suit. These thieves called MTA is robbing us at daylight and the isn't a single law enforcment agency to stand up for us and come to our rescue.

We have no choice. Its us citizens who must act and fend off those gangsters.

You uneducated, illiterate fool, it is NOT the MTA, your English is atrocious, and I hate these high tolls as much as anyone, but no one is forcing you to use them.

I would be interested to see what happened if you went out to dinner and then refused to pay saying the prices are too high, and the owner is a thief.

What "law enforcement agency" do you expect to stand up for you? what do you want them to do?, arrest the bridge because you think the toll is too high?

17

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