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Old 05-03-2012, 03:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
You misunderstand...I was talking about the question from UKToad about covering the tail lights in this post. Previously I posted that the plate ISN'T an issue IMO. I agree with you completely.
Oh. Never mind.

(With thanks to Emily Litella)
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:16 PM   #16
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The issue of 'tickets' can depend on the situation... and the requirement to have a license plate displayed properly can be critical when a police officer stops a vehicle... With no plate, there is nothing to identify the vehicle that is stopped and if something happens during the stop it leaves a big ??? in trying to sort it out.

An easy early warning is when the officer stops the car, queries the plate, and gets the information. It could be stolen, belong to a different vehicle... and whatever owner information on file also gets reported... any warrants... danger flags.

So, if a police officer stops you because he can't see your plate, he's already on edge. He's already told a dispatcher what he can see, vehicle description, number of occupants... and if you turn out to be an ass, it's a handy and valid way for the officer to give you a ticket.

The majority of officer injuries and fatalities are during traffic stops... police just want people to follow the rules and make it safe for everyone.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:56 PM   #17
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The only problem with an obscured license plate (or a cracked tail light, etc.) is that it gives LEO an opportunity to pull you over and check for other things that may not show probable cause like, drinking, open container, drugs, seat belts, etc. So if you are driving normal, they usually will not bother you. When carrying bikes on the back of a car, the plate and lights are partially blocked, and in Colorado every other car seems to be carrying bikes.
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:30 PM   #18
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Of course laws vary by state, but don't think that just because it's "just" an obscured license plate that they'll just pull you over and give you a warning. I got pulled over over for having a smoked license plate cover over my Pruis' license plate (clean, with no scratches or fogging) and the guy kept me there for over 20 minutes doing who-knows-what with his trainee (and of course I played it friendly as can be, so it's not like there were punishing me for attitude). After 20 minutes, and making me late for a zen meditation class of all things, they hit me with a fix-it ticket ó because apparently smoked license plate frames are illegal in that county (even though I bought it at that county's Target ó*why are they allowed to sell them???).

In order to complete the fix-it, I had to remove the cover, find another police officer to sign the ticket, then spend 3/4 of a day in line at the court house to turn in my signed ticket and pay a $50 fee for the pleasure of them processing it.

This was in the state I lived in my entire life (apparently these kind of things can vary by county), and I had no idea something as begign as a cover (that wasn't one of those camera-dodging reflective kinds) was an issue.

Lesson learned: Unless you are very very sure that it's okay to have an obstructed license in your state and county (and who doesn't leave their state an county in an Airstream?), don't risk obscuring the plate. It really isn't worth the hassle and cost if you get an officer in a bad mood or trying to show of to his rookie.

ETA: There was nothing abnormal about my driving, my car (was a charcoal prius in perfect condition in every way) or my driving record that would have made that an "excuse" to pull me over. You never know what a slow day it is, or what quotas they're trying to fill that day.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:03 PM   #19
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KerriO,
In California, those are illegal statewide. The reason is that at night many of those covers (in some cases by design) obscure the license so it's unreadable.
Many officers love a minor infraction such as a headlight, brake light or license plate light inoperative. The reason for this is not that they can write a fix-it ticket, but that many, many if not most felony arrests come through contacts made because of the infraction. This is probable cause to stop the subject, the in the process the license is run through the database for wants and warrants.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:18 PM   #20
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Fyrzowt, exactly my point actually (though I still will never understand how Target can sell them if they're not legal in that state!) —*though I wasn't actually sure if it was a state or county thing. The point being that an obstructed license plate can get you more than pulled over — it can take a day and $50 (or probably more depending on where you're located), so it's really not worth the risk. Moving our license plate from the Airstream bumper to the bike rack took all of ten minutes and cost nothing.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:24 PM   #21
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But in fl it still must have a light. Jim
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:27 PM   #22
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Yeah, we still need to add that! If anyone finds the perfect, simple addition, please do let us know.
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:48 PM   #23
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Do I then need to remove my Airstream because it obscures my TV plate??????????
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:54 PM   #24
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Old 05-03-2012, 06:57 PM   #25
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Lightbulb Relocate plate with bike rack

I have a new bike rack that mounts the same as the AS rack, it to covers my plate.
I relocated my plate just below the original plate on top of my bumper. I drilled two holes in the "chrome rubber trim" for the bottom plate screws to hold the plate. I used chrome plate screw covers to dress it up. When I'm not using the rack I return the plate above and leave the chrome screw covers in the trim holes. The plate is between the wheels and the plate light above allows some light to light the plate. When I use a bike rain cover you can draw up the cover with a cord between the tires to see the plate, its a little sloppy but it works. The plate will curve upward slightly and this helps light the plate. Do not use a plate frame because you can not open up the bumper compartment lid.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:16 AM   #26
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Brian, great idea to use battery-powerd LED light.

Regarding the tail/brake lights, I think they are high enough to be above the wheels. But I don't own a rack yet, so maybe I will take a look by holding a bike at bumper level. I can't do that right away, as our Bambi is in for service. Any A/S bike rack owners out there?

Thanks all for good ideas and discussion.

Charlie
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:39 AM   #27
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Now, assuming I can mount the license plate to the rack itself, I just need a battery powered LED light. Now the problem is: do I have to remember to turn the thing on and off? A daylight sensor would keep it off in daytime, but it would be on even when parked if I don't remember to turn it off...

How easy is it to run a wire down and maybe out the storage compartment hatch - or put a connector in or near the hatch? Are there diagrams somewhere which show the routing of these wires?

Or maybe the easiest is figure how to connect a wire to the existing license plate light and route it down? Easier, but less elegant.

Charlie
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:23 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by aircampr View Post
Brian, great idea to use battery-powerd LED light.

Regarding the tail/brake lights, I think they are high enough to be above the wheels. But I don't own a rack yet, so maybe I will take a look by holding a bike at bumper level. I can't do that right away, as our Bambi is in for service. Any A/S bike rack owners out there?

Thanks all for good ideas and discussion.

Charlie
Without a bike bag..or cover...I think you're fine. It's the bag that creates a problem with obscuring the taillights.
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