In New York State, cars must pass an annual inspection to remain on the road. It is a precaution of safety for the driver as well as others on the road to ensure a car is functioning properly. If your car is past the inspection date, you might get pulled over and ticketed.
Many people put off their inspection as long as possible for a host of different reasons. Maybe they know their car will not pass inspection; if they cannot afford to make the necessary repairs, they avoid inspection and simply just hope law enforcement officials will not notice. Whatever the case, several motorists try to delay car inspections until they absolutely have no choice but to remedy the situation.
In an effort to avoid them even further, a new criminal method has arisen. Cars that cannot pass inspection remain on the road with stickers that are either fake or obtained through fraud. By making counterfeit inspection stickers, a person can avoid actually going through the inspection process while tricking law enforcement into thinking they have.
CBS New York reported that last summer, police in Babylon found 93 fake inspection stickers on cars on Long Island. Having a fake sticker is not only dangerous if your car is unfit to drive, but now it is considered a felony.
Earlier this month, New York State Police stopped a Putnam County man for speeding. When the cop pulled the man over, he found one of those infamous fake stickers. He charged the man for a fraudulent offense.
“Someone being prosecuted with a felony for having a fake sticker, I think, is a very strong deterrent,” said AAA spokesman Robert Sinclair.
People like Sinclair understand the importance of car inspections. Say a car has bad brakes — the car would not pass a standard inspection, thus requiring the driver to have them repaired. If the motorist continues driving with bad brakes, they are prone to more accidents.
How are people acquiring these fake stickers? There are several different sources.
For instance, CBS 2 found ads on the internet selling inspection stickers for $80. It is uncertain whether they are stolen stickers or if they are fabricated by counterfeiters.
Another source said many people try to bribe the workers at inspection stations with cash to pass their car anyway, despite the condition.
The article from CBS reports that the stickers are so valuable, many inspection stations have to keep them locked up.
Law enforcement officials continue to keep an eye out for fake stickers: they say the color fades on the counterfeit ones after just a few weeks on the windshield.