A New York truck driver has been charged with possession of burglary tools for using a retractable bumper to avoid toll charges on the George Washington Bridge.
Reuters reports that the driver, Pablo Ortega, installed a lifting device that allowed him to tilt his truck bumper, and the attached license plate, to a horizontal position as he approached the bridge toll booth. By activating the device, Ortega could make his truck’s license plate unreadable by the bridge’s EZ-Pass automated toll collection system.
Bumper lifting devices are sometimes used to protect truck bumpers from damage at construction sites and other locations with low or uneven clearances. However, Ortega’s lifting device was spotted in action by an on-duty police officer for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which has jurisdiction over the bridge. The rear license plate of Ortega’s 18-wheeler was also reportedly smeared with grease so as to make it unreadable by scanning devices at the toll both.
Large trucks crossing the George Washington Bridge from New Jersey into New York are charged a toll of $95 for each trip.