Mayor Adams, Amazon crack down on “Ghost Vehicles”
Mayor Eric Adams and Amazon yesterday took a new step in New York City’s crackdown on “ghost vehicles,” collaborating to further prohibit and prevent the sale of any product advertised on the e-commerce site as a “camera blocker” to anyone ordering such a product within New York state.
As part of the collaboration, Amazon will proactively search for and restrict the sale of smokescreen license plate covers and tinted license plate covers to customers with a New York state address. Amazon has also agreed to automatically display electronic notices stating that a given item cannot be shipped to New York locations — before one of these products can even be added to a customer’s online shopping cart.
In January 2022, the city enacted Local Law 22 prohibiting the sale of products designed to conceal or obscure vehicle license plates to New York City residents. This local law builds upon a provision of the State Vehicle and Traffic Law, which also prohibits the concealing or obscuring of license plates. Despite Local Law 22, companies have continued to sell these products to New York City residents who use them to purposefully break the law. Amazon’s commitment to restrict the sale of these products complies with Local Law 22 and sets an example for other retailers.
“We are sending a clear and simple message: We will leave no stone unturned to keep New Yorkers safe on our streets,” said Adams. “Ghost cars are by design unsafe and untraceable, so in addition to finding and towing them, we’re going to stop them from appearing in the first place. Amazon has been a willing partner in the battle for street safety and we thank them for working with us to keep New York City streets safe. We expect all e-commerce platforms and other sellers to follow their lead, comply with the law, and keep these products out of New York.”
Lander welcomes DOC transparency
City Comptroller Brad Lander yesterday welcomed the Department of Corrections (DOC) release of new data tracking metrics and conditions in city jails, in response to months of requests from the Comptroller’s office for data transparency.
In light of the ongoing crisis in the city’s jails, the comptroller’s office began requesting data from DOC in January, with the goal of providing regular information to the public on key agency metrics, including staff absenteeism, rates of violence, missed medical appointments, and the growth of the jail population. That data is now available on a dashboard published today, available here.
“What we can’t see, we can’t fix. For years, the Department of Correction has locked away its data, failing to provide real transparency to the public. The Comptroller’s office has had the agency on its watch list since 2018, in order to track operations and management problems that have snowballed into a humanitarian crisis. I’m pleased that following formal requests from our office, critical DOC data is now finally available to the public on both their website and on ours. Transparency about staffing absences, the provision of basic services including medical care and access to the courts, and the prevalence of violence are essential for accountability and change,” said Lander.
AG James applauds Google for improving search results for individuals seeking abortion care
New York Attorney General Letitia James yesterday applauded Google for taking steps to improve search results for individuals seeking abortion care.
The improvement came after James called on Google to address search results that led individuals seeking abortion care to anti-abortion clinics, known as crisis pregnancy centers (CPC). The company announced yesterday that it will change its search results to be more accurate. Google will update its map and search results to label which facilities provide abortion care and which do not. These changes will help individuals locate the reproductive health care facilities they need without being misled.
“I applaud Google for taking steps to improve their search results to help individuals seeking abortion care,” said James. “These critical changes to Google search results will be lifesaving and will help individuals get the safe care they need. As reproductive rights are under attack, it’s more important than ever for businesses to do their part to protect access to reproductive care. My office will continue to take action to ensure that every person has the freedom to make their own choices about their bodies.”
Myrie hosts back-to-school block party
Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie (D-Brooklyn) tomorrow will host a Back-to-School Block Party for neighbors and residents of Senate District 20.
The event will include backpacks and school supply giveaways, food, music, games and activities for families. Among the organizations setting up tables are CCA Metro, NYC District Council of Carpenters, LaSante Health Center, LevelUp Urgent Care, and Healthcare Education Project
After more than two years of the pandemic, Myrie is pleased to host this safe, fun, outdoor and in-person event for the community and proud to provide back-to-school supplies for local young people.
The event is slated for between 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, August 27 outside 1077 Nostrand Avenue (between Lincoln Road and Lefferts Avenue) in Brooklyn.