If car owners prefer to go in for accessories like license plate covers and license plate frames, there is a good reason for it.
The licence plates are usually made of thin metal and are prone to warping and bending. There have been instances when people have seen their license plates bent out of shape after a car wash. Exposed license plates are vulnerable. Frames made of brass or acrylic or metal provide a measure of protection. Of course these frames are also used to convey a message and dealerships are fond of handing out frames with their custom message. Even car owners like the embellishment frames offer. It is a sort of status symbol to have a rich and classy looking frame around the plate. Some even prefer to have their license plate frames monogrammed for a personalized look. A car does look different with customized license plate frames and it gives the owner great satisfaction.
There is still another reason why customized license plate frame covers are helpful. It does keep the plates securely in place and acts as a deterrent to thieves who target license plates.
However, one must be careful in choosing the frame size and type. In many States frames may be considered illegal and will result in a fine. Some states permit frames so long as they do not obscure any writing on the license plate. The plate must be visible from a distance of 100 feet and should not hamper the view of traffic or toll booth scanners. Any violation could result in a fine. Even if a small part of the lettering on the plate is covered by the frame or cover then it can be considered a violation and it could result in a fine.
What this means is that drivers must be careful in selecting the plate frame and not take the first one offered by the dealership. It is better to put it in place to check that there is a clear margin and that all characters and numerals on the plate are clearly visible. Some experts recommend that there should be no plate frames at all. Still, given the advantages of a plate frame cover, it is better to have one in place rather than be without one and risk the plate becoming bent or damaged.
The frame could be coupled with a nice cover that has a dual function. One is to protect the plate and the other is to serve as an anti-camera device. If the plate deserves protection against the elements then the driver too needs some sort of protection against being ticketed by red light cameras for no fault of his own. The frame, in conjunction with a suitable microprism surface acrylic cover keeps the plate and the driver fully protected.
The only thing to keep in mind is to comply with local laws that can vary from one State to another and to make sure that even where it is acceptable to have custom frames for license plates, they do not obscure the lettering in any way.
The objective of traffic cameras is to reduce accidents. However, traffic cameras are also used as instruments to increase revenue. Florida drivers alone paid $ 100 million in traffic fines. If the state gains in revenues it comes out of someone’s pocket and that is the hapless driver who has no way to appeal. Traffic cameras are designed to have a short yellow light duration and if the driver is not able to stop his vehicle by the time the lights turn red, his number is captured and a ticket is issued. If this happens then the driver has to pay the fine and incur other expenses.
These expenses could involve attorney fees, indirect consideration of loss of wages for the time he spends in attending court and paying the fine and incidental expenses all of which losses could amount to about $500 on an average. If this happens repeatedly then he could face increasing fines or suspension of his driving license. There is a smart way to avoid being targeted by traffic cameras and that is achieved by the simple expedient of installing Phantom Tag Protector anti-camera license plate covers. There are advantages to this type of covers that cost less than USD 50.
The indirect advantage of the cover is that it protects the license plates and increases longevity. The other direct advantage is that traffic cameras are not able to capture the license plate number in full and it is not possible to issue a ticket. The driver remains safeguarded. An investment of just USD 50 saves photo ticket worth USD 100 to 150 and additional costs not to speak of time and effort. There are indirect benefits. Traffic tickets could result in higher insurance rates. This is avoided by the use of these anti-camera covers for license plates. Repeated tiolations resulting in loss of driving license could also mean loss of job if one is in a job that requires a driving license. Each time one drives a car one is never sure whether traffic cameras have captured their plate details and whether they will receive a ticket or not. Driving becomes an ordeal and this can be avoided simply by the use of plate covers that prevent cameras from recording the number.
The way these covers work is quite simple. The surface of the acrylic cover has microprisms that reflect light at certain angles and partially obscure the number. If a number is not captured in its entirity then the computer cannot issue a ticket. When viewed from the front the number is quite clear so traffic police cannot make out the properties of the cover. It is only when the plate is viewed from angle that there is a glare that prevents a complete readout. Traffic cameras are usually installed at an angle, either by the side of the road or high above. The plate always appears partially obscured when viewed from this angle and it becomes impossible for the system to generate a traffic ticket.
Citizens in several states are outraged at receiving traffic violation tickets. In many cases the tickets were issued as a result of traffic cameras purportedly photographing the car for speeding or crossing red lights. The purpose of traffic cameras is to reduce accidents and enforce traffic laws while police can focus on more important matters. In many cases the tickets were issued even though the driver had not committed a breach. Citizens claim the cameras are not as a preventive measure but as a revenue generating source allegedly rigged by installers. Fines range from $ 100 to $ 300 with penalties if not paid within 30 days. In Chicago alone the camera installations generated $ 69 million in revenues in 2010.
It is easy for a car driver to become a victim without being unaware. He comes to know only when he receives a ticket in the mail and must pay up. How to avoid this situation? There are citizen activist groups campaigning against cameras and some states have shut them down. However, if you live in an area where these are active and there are chances of your becoming a victim the best way around is to take preventive measures. One measure is to drive well below the specific speed limit. Another is to stop when the light goes yellow. Still another, better method is to install anti photo license plate covers over the license plates.
This is a simple passive device that a driver affixes over the regular plates. The material of the cover is acrylic but the surface is textured with fine prisms in a way that the numbers are clearly legible when viewed directly from the front. However, when viewed from a side angle or a top angle, the angles at which traffic cameras are usually installed, and then these covers reflect light in a way to partially obscure the number. If the computer cannot read the number it cannot then process data to issue a ticket. It is as simple as that. The advanced lens technology blocks camera photos, blocks video recording and blocks random scanning. However, when viewed from front, the cover appears transparent and the registration number is clearly visible, which means these covers are complying with legal requirements.
Red light cameras and video systems may be rigged to falsely issue tickets. The driver has to then prove he is not guilty, something that he cannot do and must pay the fine. In such cases it is in the driver’s interests to ensure that the ticket is not issued in the first place. Even if he drives carefully there are chances that rigged cameras may issue a ticket. In this situation the installation of the license plate cover is the best protection against such wrongful tickets. There are added benefits in that the covers protect against effects of weather, dirt dust, grease and mechanical damage to the plates. It costs only a little but saves the driver a huge amount that he would be paying by way of fines.
Motorists are all too well aware of the presence of traffic speed cameras and red light cameras at intersections. These unmanned, automated cameras, as many citizens have found to their dismay, are programmed to capture registration numbers and issue tickets even though there is no violation. What smart motorists do is they slow down appreciably, well below the specified limit to ensure they are not caught violating the speed trap. At red light cameras they slow down and stop as the light turns yellow and then red. It is no surprise that some areas, where such cameras have been installed, report a sizeable downturn in their revenues and companies that have installed such cameras are incurring huge losses. Speed cameras may have served the purpose: there is a fear factor.
The reason to be afraid is simple. There have been reported cases of these speed cameras being rigged to capture even non-violators and issue tickets for revenue purposes. No one wants to be a victim of such cameras. Smarter people not only stay well within speed limits but they also take extra measures to keep themselves from becoming a victim of Phantom Tag Protector speeding cameras.
This is achieved by the simple expedient of fitting a transparent license plate cover with a micro bubbled or prismatic surface. When viewed from front at eye level, the plate cover is virtually undetectable and allows clear reading of the numbers. When viewed at oblique angles from the side or above, the textured surface partially obscures the number. If a speed camera cannot record the number then it cannot be matched in the data base and a driver stays safe because a ticket cannot be issued.
A word of warning though. Not all such license plate covers are equal. Some are not of the right size. Some are made of materials that yellow within 6 months of installation and lose effectiveness besides being quite noticeable. In such cases it is easy for police to stop the driver and issue a ticket. The right license plate cover is made of UV resistant acrylic that fits the license plate perfectly and does not stand out. It is practically “invisible” and stays that way for years, making it a good investment. For only a few dollars investment in such covers one can avoid being ticketed and having to pay fines of hundreds of dollars.
Is it legal? According to law the license plate must be legible when viewed from the front at eye level. This type of cover allows perfect readability when viewed from the correct angle. It only obscures the number partially when viewed from oblique angles of 110 degrees so they may strictly not contravene any laws. It is a known fact that speed cameras are rigged to trap unwary drivers and issue tickets even though there is no violation. Why become a victim? Stay safe with protective covers while being fully compliant with local traffic laws. One must remember that appeals against such tickets are virtually useless. It is better that the tickets are not issued in the first place and smart covers help you stay safe.