licence plate covers ontario

Ontario driver caught with high-tech device to block licence plate

A luxury car driver in Ontario was pulled over with a retractable licence plate cover, just the latest case in a growing problem of drivers turning to tech to cheat highway tolls, red light cameras, and reports of speeding.

Officers of the Halton Regional Police Service's Milton District Response Unit encountered what was initially believed to be an un-plated vehicle on Sunday evening. However, the driver of this Porsche Panamera 4S was actually just holding a high-tech trick up their sleeve.

After pulling the driver over, police located push-button controls from the driver's seat to operate a retractable licence plate cover.

The issue of obstructed licence plates is only growing more common. According to a 2015 Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police report, between 2011 and 2014, there were over 92,000 cases of red light cameras capturing plates where their jurisdiction and or alpha-numeric characters were obstructed by licence plate frames and covers.

That number is on the rise, according to a Toronto Star report from March, stating that red light cameras in Toronto recorded 82,000 obstructions in just the last three years.

Section 13.2 of the Highway Traffic Act states, "Every number plate shall be kept free from dirt and obstruction and shall be affixed so that the entire number plate, including the numbers, is plainly visible at all times, and the view of the number plate shall not be obscured or obstructed by spare tires, bumper bars, any part of the vehicle, any attachments to the vehicle or the load carried."

Despite the illegality of their use on roads, selling these plate covers is perfectly legal, and they are readily available in auto accessories stores and through online vendors.

A few comments point out the hypocrisy of driving a car that retails for approximately $125,000 but drawing the line at highway tolls and red light camera fees.

Blocking or obstructing views of licence plates can run drivers a fine of $110, limiting the cost-effectiveness of a James Bond-style retractable cover in the pilot seat of your fancy Porsche.

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