Their priority is on the “express” part.
Lead-footed FedEx drivers are obscuring their trucks’ license plates with stickers, tape and even delivery notices in an attempt to evade detection by speed cameras dotting the streets around their Brooklyn lot, leaving locals on edge.
In the span of just over four hours on one recent day, a Post reporter observed 17 trucks peeling out of the lot on East 108th Street in Canarsie with plates that were at least partially covered up.
The plates were masked with everything from blue tape to “We Missed You” delivery attempt notices to what appeared to be address labels — and most of the drivers tore out of the lot with the pedal to the metal.
Area residents told The Post that the delivery-truck derby left them wary of stepping off the curb.
“People can’t cross the street here!” fumed Antonio Valentine, a 63-year-old retiree who lives one block from the lot. “They come driving way too fast! This ain’t a highway. … The FedEx drivers are crazy!”
Similar license plate cover-ups were not observed at other FedEx hubs in Sunset Park and Queens but persisted at the Canarsie lot over multiple days into this week, as drivers boasted about the evasive tactic.
“Yeah, it works!” crowed one FedEx driver, grinning and holding aloft a pad of address labels, when asked whether the move was effective in beating the traffic-safety precaution.
“It’s hard, they’re on every block almost,” said another driver, whose rear plate was covered with address labels, referring to the cameras. “You do what you gotta do!”
Neither of the scofflaws provided their names.
A Post reporter briefly traced the route of one truck with a covered rear plate and counted three speed cameras within the first two minutes of the trip — which included the driver barreling past a stop sign at Farragut Road and East 105th Street.
Other drivers were observed blowing through multiple red lights.
Another local who gave her name as Phillis, said that the rumbling trucks terrified her 4-year-old granddaughter Aisha during a recent walk home from the corner store.
“Last week they scared her so bad! My grandbaby started crying,” said Phillis, 59. “We were … coming back [when] they came screeching down here, like they was racing.”
The grandmother predicted that it would only be a matter of time until the reckless driving had dire consequences.
“They’re gonna kill somebody,” she warned.
Every truck The Post observed leaving the lot with obscured plates hit the road at Stanley Avenue and East 108th Street, gunning it southeast down East 108th.
By contrast, trucks that continued northeast on Stanley had their plates fully visible and generally traveled at slower speeds.
Asked about the disparity, the second driver said that the route dictated whether plates were covered up.
“It all depends on what route you get, I guess,” he said with a smile. “Where the camera’s gonna get you!”
Workers said that three different contractors ran trucks for FedEx out of the lot — and an apparent manager of one of the companies owned up to employing most, if not all, of the speed demons.
“They are my guys,” the man said with a shrug, refusing to identify himself or his company. “A lot of them.”
The honcho replied with a curt “no” when asked whether hiding the plates was standard practice, then declined to answer further questions.
A third driver said that they covered up to avoid getting stuck with fines that came out of their wallets.
“The drivers, we have to pay for our own tickets,” he said.
But a fourth driver, whose plates were clearly visible, questioned the others’ corner-cutting con.
“The DOT number is right there,” he said, referring to mandatory Department of Transportation tags plastered in multiple spots on each rig. “It’s on every side! They’re so stupid!”
Even after a Post reporter questioned several drivers and the apparent manager about the practice on Wednesday, multiple trucks were spotted speeding with covered-up plates on Thursday.
City Councilwoman Inez Barron, whose district includes the lot, called for a crackdown to make sure the plates are visible and the drivers accountable for their actions behind the wheel.
“That should be something that’s prevented and addressed,” the Democrat told The Post, calling on the NYPD to take an “active role” in slamming the breaks on the free-for-all.
According to the NYPD, motorists can be cited for Vehicle Traffic Law 402-1b if they hit the road with a defaced, obscured or otherwise illegible license plate.
Calling the behavior “disturbing,” a FedEx spokesman vowed to look into the practice.
“Safety is our top priority, both within FedEx Ground and across our network of vendors and service provider companies,” the spokesman said in a statement. “We take very seriously any reports of unsafe and/or unlawful behavior and will take appropriate steps to address this matter.”
The spokesman added that service providers contracted by FedEx are responsible for ensuring that moving violations are resolved and that their drivers play by the rules of the road.
“These businesses are responsible for addressing moving violations that may be incurred by the drivers they employ, including determining how citations are paid,” the spokesman said. “All service provider companies are subject to compliance reviews of their safety records.”
Additional reporting by Lorena Mongelli, Tina Moore and Nolan Hicks