Traffic ticket because of a bike rack?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by profnachos, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. profnachos

    profnachos Member

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    My friend's wife got pulled over and got a ticket on the 241 toll road because of the Thule hitch bike rack was obstructing the license plate. She had a transponder, but that did not matter. Because the license plate is not fully visible, the camera cannot capture the license number, hence the ticket.

    That sucks. So to be in compliance, I take it you would have to mount the license plate on the visible side of the bike rack?
     
  2. Hotchkiss

    Hotchkiss human being

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    We've gone through it with bikes on the rack which block the license plate, no ticket. She can fight it.

    But you can get pulled over for having an obstructed license plate. I've warned Kimmi about it a few times.
     
  3. masta shake

    masta shake squeaky kneed SS'er

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    ticket

    Hmmm. Sounds about the same as getting a ticket for obstructed plate when towing a trailer. If I had the time I'd fight it on principle
     
  4. Chewyeti

    Chewyeti Circus Bear

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    leave the rack down, with no bikes on it?
     
  5. b3rnard

    b3rnard Member

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    Yep. They need to be visible at all times. I know a few who have been cited by CHP and local law enforcement...

    Those Thule hitch racks that carry 4 bikes, can be cited too. I believe max allowed extension from the bumper in CA is 3 feet - I could be wrong, but somewhere around there...
     
  6. profnachos

    profnachos Member

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    I think you have to have a red flag displayed if it extends beyond 3 feet.
     
  7. b3rnard

    b3rnard Member

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    #-oisn't that why trailers have a license plate.
     
  8. profnachos

    profnachos Member

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    Well, the law says the license plate has to be visible at all times, so I am not sure if you'd have a leg to stand on. The ticket is petty for sure, but it appears to be totally legal. I have a hitch bike rack myself, but this is something I had never thought about.
     
  9. dragonsback79

    dragonsback79 New Member

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    I got stopped once for talking on the cell. I saw him pull out so I threw the phone down. Cop came to window and said I was talking on the cell (sans handsfree) I denied it. Said it was my earpiece, and he backed off.
    He then started looking for reasons to give me a ticket and noticed my hitch rack. Tried to give me a ticket for covering the license plate. I told him it was just for today and I will take it off when NOT in use. He gave up and drove off...rookie!
    So yes, they can get you that way so be careful unless you can talk your way out of it or get a rookie cop like me.
    Good luck!
    Besides...it adds weight = less gas mileage when not in use.
     
  10. Hotchkiss

    Hotchkiss human being

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    Wait, I thought you meant the toll road was giving her a ticket for running the toll. She got a ticket in the mail for having the plate obstructed?
     
  11. profnachos

    profnachos Member

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    No, she got pulled over and got the ticket. She had a transponder, so that was not the issue.
     
  12. F.A.D.

    F.A.D. POWERED BY MUSUBIS

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    seems to be a common ticket for south county. One of my employees just got the same thing down in san clemente. What a cheezy way to assess the $25 processing fees.......
     
  13. zman

    zman WTF ?

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    county needs money and they will get it anyway they can
     
  14. autoduel

    autoduel sandbagger

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    Trailers need a plate because they need to be registered with the DMV to operate on a roadway, not because it blocks the tow vehicle's plate.

    It's probably not common to get cited for obstructed license plate, but you happen to be on a toll road where people often hide their plate to avoid paying fines. So the cop was looking for that specifically.
     
  15. Special K

    Special K Drink Beer, Ride Bikes...

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    A lot of agencies are strapped due to budget shortfalls....fines = revenue. Before you consider fighting a fine, I'd recommend reading the actual law.
    http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/vc/vc.htm
     
  16. Danimal

    Danimal Gary the Cat

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    The CHP officers get paid overtime for patrolling the toll roads.
    So what you get is more cops for fewer cars.
    I've found you need to be more careful about speed, tolls etc on these "private" roads, or you get a public agency ticket.

    OTOH, I was pulled over for going 83 on the 241, told to slow down and have a good day. No ticket. Thanks chippy!

    On a related by side note;
    Watch out on Santiago canyon road. The last two days there have been motorcycle officers out there.
     
  17. Danimal

    Danimal Gary the Cat

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    right or wrong, ALWAYS fight the ticket. There is always the possibility the cop will not show up.
     
  18. b3rnard

    b3rnard Member

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    I know that, duh. The point is, if your trailer has a license plate, you should not get a ticket for obstructed license plate because you are towing a trailer.
     
  19. Shu

    Shu Active Member

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    I was pulled over b/c my bike rack was "blocking" the view of the plate...the vertical tube on my rack is 1 1/4" sq...I was pulling out of the parking lot of a local bar(yes was sober thank gawd)...I did absolutely nothing to cause being pulled over other then the cop pulling up behind me stopped at the intersection....yes his reason for pulling me over was petty and he hoped he could get a dui arrest but his reasons fall w/in the law...I asked about what to do and he said either put my plate WITH a light on the rack or don't drive w/ the rack on w/o a bike....he did say that it is not illegal to block the plate IF there was a bike on the rack...a plate doesn't have to be attached to the bike....doesn't make sense but I dont' make the laws...

    IF you are towing a trailer that blocks your car/truck plate is OK and your trailer needs it OWN plate for registration purposes...has nothing to do or is linked to the tow vehicle....NOW w/ this said I had a truck w/ a hidden hitch behind my plate...the plate flipped down to put in the hitch into the receiver and a cop told me that is OK BUT my plate needs to flip the other way so you can look down and see the plate....meaning sitting in the car the cop should be able to still read the numbers if driving by and/or see if tags are current....
     
  20. maximililian

    maximililian You Sneaky Cork-Soaker!

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    That's usually used as an excuse to pull someone over, to find other "issues" such as drunk, high, no license, no insurance, etc. To pull someone over for that alone, and to write a ticket for THAT ONLY....is absolutely preposterous. ANY cop will tell you the same thing.
     

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