Traffic cameras – be they speed cameras or red light cameras – suck if you’re in the habit of speeding or not coming to a full stop when you make a right on red, but they’re also a pretty good deterrent for people who would otherwise be doing those things. Of course, there are drivers who say cameras be damned and obscure their license plates to make their cars unscannable by those devices. Then there are people like Gersh Kuntzman who ride their bikes around and narc on that second group.
Of course, saying that he’s narcing, or as in the case of this video published recently by Vice, snitching, would make it sound like we didn’t appreciate what he’s doing when in fact, we do. Here at Jalopnik, we love cars and motorcycles, but we like not killing or injuring pedestrians even more, so technologies that help prevent that from happening are generally a good thing.
What we find most interesting is that Kuntzman, a journalist who had done time at the New York Post and Newsweek, among others, is out there showing his face and using his name in these social media posts documenting this “criminal mischief.” This seems like a tremendous risk, given that these people are already flouting the law and New Yorkers don’t exactly have a reputation for being the kindest, gentlest group of people on the planet.
Kuntzman’s work documenting so-called “ghost cars” (named after untraceable “ghost guns”) or cars where their operators have put fake or otherwise falsified plates on to avoid being traced seems kind of dangerous but important, even more so than shaming the people who bend their plates or shove leaves into their plate frames.
What do you think of what Kuntzman is doing? Do you think it’s right to game the system into not having to pay fines for speeding, etc. or that messing with someone’s license plate to make it readable goes too far? Or is Kuntzman in the right? Let us know.