NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Brooklyn man has launched a new Twitter page hoping to hold bad drivers accountable, especially repeat offenders.
But some people question whether it’s an invasion of privacy.
To look up violations, simply tag me (@HowsMyDrivingNY) along with information about the vehicle like this:
replacing the above fields with the license of your choosing.
— How's My Driving NY (@HowsMyDrivingNY) March 23, 2018
Hundreds of people have already Tweeted at Brian Howland’s new Twitter page @HowsMyDrivingNY, trying to find out more information about bad drivers.
“When they see somebody doing something dangerous, parking or driving dangerously, to be able to look it up,” Howland explained.
In order to find out those details, you need to Tweet the person’s license plate and state to Howland’s account, and then software he created responds with the total amount of parking and camera violation tickets that driver has.
“Some people have as many as 74,” Howland said.
All of the information is pulled from New York City’s I-T and telecommunications database, which is open and free to the public, though he does not reveal who the driver is.
“All I can do is call attention to the fact that there are many people driving and parking dangerously,” Howland said.
The Brooklyn software engineer said he came up with the idea after last month’s deadly car accident in Park Slope, when two young Brooklynites were run over by a driver with a dozen violations.
Some people like the new site, but others say having your license plate posted online is unfair.
“Maybe people will think twice before they do something completely reckless,” said Suzanne Griffin of Brooklyn.
“Maybe there’s a way of doing it without invading people’s privacy,” said John Serpico of Manhattan.
“It’s too much information with your license plates,” said Deborah Ray of Brooklyn.
Traffic lawyer Anthony Sharnov said it’s legal to do this, but you should think twice before posting someone else’s information.
“It can start a social media war,” Sharnov said. “Somebody is going to come back and get upset if they find out their information was posted online.”
Howland believes that should not matter: Don’t do the crime if you can’t pay the ticket and do the social media time.