Gov. Hochul's SUVs are cloaked from traffic cameras

Gov. Kathy Hochul might not be camera shy on the campaign trail, but her state trooper-driven vehicles travel incognito when it comes to being photographed for speeding and running red lights.

Both Hochul and Lt. Governor Antonio Delgado – Democrats pushing campaign platforms aimed at curbing car use — are chauffeured around New York city and state in SUVs equipped with license plates that can’t be flagged by traffic cameras, The Post has learned.

Unlike Mayor Eric Adams’ NYPD security detail and other city officials whose vehicles aren’t cloaked from the camera program’s scrutiny, state-owned vehicles used by State Police’s protective services unit to transport Hochul, her Democratic running mate and their staff come back as “NO-HIT” on the Department of Motor Vehicles database.

A State Police spokesman confirmed the plate numbers are designed to remain anonymous “as a security measure,” adding such protocol has been in place roughly 50 years.

Naysayers argue that the governor and her detail should be held accountable like every other driver.
Naysayers argue that the governor and her detail should be held accountable like every other driver.
Lev Radin/Pacific Press/Shutters

Critics said Hochul and her security detail should be held to the same standards for bad driving as anyone else – especially since she’s helped spearhead vast expansions of the city’s speed and red-light camera programs. She’s also pushing for congestion-pricing tolls to Manhattan as part of her platform to hold off Republican challenger Lee Zeldin in the Nov. 8 election.

“She isn’t above the law,” said Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens). “For her to push for installing more cameras for the rest of us — but not have them apply to her or her staff — is disgusting and disturbing.”

The state legislature must take action to ensure there’s public oversight over potential reckless driving by the governor’s security, he added.

Holden was among the half dozen city officials who had no clue state vehicles could beat the system. And neither did reps from the city’s Department of Transportation — which oversees more than 2,000 speed cameras and at least another  223 red-light cameras citywide.

Joseph Cornetta, a Bayport, NY-based private investigator and former NYPD detective hired by The Post, ran the license plates of vehicles that transported Hochul and Delgado over the past few months through a database to check ownership and violation records – only to learn there was no information available. The media doesn’t have access to DMV records such as registration.

There are no violation records available for the governor's vehicles.
There are no violation records available for the governor’s vehicles.
ZUMAPRESS.com

In September, The Post used a public DOT data portal to reveal that two city-issued SUVs used by Adams’ NYPD security detail were nabbed on camera three times in five months for speeding in school zones.

Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa, a Republican who lost the 2021 mayoral race to Adams, said it’s bizarre the mayor isn’t spared by traffic cameras in NYC yet Hochul is.

“She’s squeezing the drivers to the point where they can’t afford to live in New York and she’s driving around with impunity. Unreal!” fumed Sliwa.

Eric McClure, executive director of the safe-roads group StreetsPAC, said he understands the need to keep “the governor and lieutenant governor safe in these crazy times … but I do think it’s important that all elected officials’ details be held accountable for their driving.”

Reps for Adams and Hochul did not return messages.

DMV spokeswoman Lisa Koumijian said the agency — which normally does not monitor camera violations — found no “evidence of outstanding or unresolved enforcement issues” regarding the license plates flagged by The Post.

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