According to CNN, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that New York city seized 46 ice cream trucks Wednesday as part of a sting operation.
"Operation Meltdown" is part of a city crack down on shell corporations: the ice cream truck operators are accused of avoiding traffic laws and evading subsequent fines that total in the millions over the past decade. Between 2009 and 2017, the trucks accumulated 22,000 traffic summons for running red lights, parking near fire hydrants and blocking cross walks that amount to $4.5 million in fines.
"We all know from common experience that ice cream trucks are magnets for children," said Zachary W. Carter, the city's corporation counsel. "In order to protect this particularly vulnerable category of pedestrians, our traffic laws must be strictly enforced."
New York city further accuses the trucks of operating as part of larger shell corporations. To avoid the fines they received, operators re-registered their trucks at the Department of Motor Vehicles under the names of different corporations. When the city's finance department would try to collect on a fine, there would be no trace of the offending company.
"No New Yorker is above the law -- especially those who try to ignore public safety laws and create dangerous situations for pedestrians, bikers and drivers," de Blasio said in a statement. The city filed lawsuits against ice cream truck operators who owe more than $10,000 in judgments or unpaid fines.