Dear Lifehacker, I was pulled over this morning for "obstructing my licence plate" on my car with a bike rack. As far as I am concerned I can read my number plate. Is it possible to fight this in court or am I wasting my time? Thanks, Annoyed At The Police
Picture: Paul Stainthorp
You see that stick in your hand? You have the wrong end of it.
The laws surrounding number plate visibility are not directly for your benefit. You probably know your number already. However, if you're involved in an accident and speed away (perhaps you're distracted by that stick in your hand), then witnesses and those involved need to be able to clearly see your number plate.
If you have a bike rack in place, many states require you to have an auxiliary number plate displaying the same details (that's the case in NSW, Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT) or to move your existing number plate and attach it to the rack so nothing is blocking the view of it(which is the requirement in Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory). But no matter where you live, simply saying "I reckon it's legible" and leaving it where it is isn't going to cut it, nor can you use a home-made number plate. I'm going to clarify this point after seeing some reader comments: this isn't an area where a judgement call is involved.
So yes, you're wasting your time contesting this in court. Put the stick down, pick it up correctly, and get yourself a legal number plate arrangement.
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