License Plate cover - OPP / Police in General

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LowNSlow
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License Plate cover - OPP / Police in General

by: LowNSlow on
Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:12 am

So I was driving a friend on crutches to Buxton, ON this past Thursday from Brampton. We we're cruising while catching up. So about 10 km before our exit an OPP and unmarked car come tearing down the off ramp. I glance down on the speedometer although I know I wasn't speeding so we continued chatting. There was a pick up truck behind me and a transport truck in the right lane. So my friend looks in the side mirror and points out that the OPP is swerving side behind the pickup truck to side as if to see if I'm in sight. So I look and notice it myself and have a chuckle. Obviously I dont know if that is the case however just an observation besides, if you were me driving on a daily basis you'd understand. Not before I go any further I'll let you know I am a car enthusiast and drive a 2000 Honda Accord coupe. The only modification that I've done is that it is lowered a couple inches, other than that its all factory options so its nothing outrageous.


After about 5 Km the office finally gets by the pickup and wedges in between me and the pickup. So at this point I know he's running my plate as I see him glancing down and a couple times it seemed like he was loosing control of his car. Now let me tell you realistically its like I'm on Police radar I get tailed once a week and pulled over on average about once every two or 3 weeks with no ticket issued. I actually pride myself on being a law abiding citizen and not a statistic. Anyhow the lights come on and I pull over. Due to the amount of times I get pulled over (time before was last Saturday with no ticket issued) I have my license, ownership and insurance in my cubby hole under the radio. So he comes over and says my sticker is expired and that he couldn't see my license plate due to the plate cover (clear). I explained that my sticker is expired as of the week before but I have it with my ownership. I explained I need to take my car in because the bolts have rusted and need to be cut. So he takes my info back and literally 30+ minutes later comes back and says he's not going to give me a ticket for my sticker, but he will for obstructing my plate. By this time the unmarked car that was behind him has gone up, turned around and came back behind him. After giving me back the papers he looks through my car and asks why it smells the way it does (as his head is right beside the hanging air conditioner). Nothing was in the car except my backpack with work stuff, and my friends crutches in the back. So he looks at my friend with a strange look and then asks if he searches the car is he going to find anything. So we both look at him with a puzzled look and laugh then reply no as neither of us smoke do drugs or get into any of that kind of stuff. He then tells me the cover is illegal and walks away. That damn stretch of highway between London and Windsor on the 410 is ridiculous. I always get hassled on it.

Now this is my thing, and I'm not even going to talk about playing the race card (story for another day and time and place I suppose), I pride myself on having a clean abstract. I'm not wanted nor have ever been. Call me anal or whatever, but I don't want this on my record at all. I understand that tinted plate covers may obstruct, but clear plate covers at 3pm in the afternoon? I got to my destination and looked at the cover and realized there was a bit of dirt on it, but is clearly visible. My plate is my first initial, middle initiation and 4 letter last name clearly legible (I got nothing to hide). I've searched and want to find the section of law that clearly states that the clear plate covers cannot be used. My plate is not at all obstructed and can clearly be seen. If I didn't have the plate cover on and the dirt got on the plate would I get a ticket also? Is this ticket worth trying to talk to the prosecutor about or try to fight hoping he doesn't show in court? Lately I've been getting annoyed at how I've been treated and talked to by police. But again for another time and place.

I want to know if this is worth fighting or meeting with the prosecutor. Also if anyone has any information on knowing if it is possible to get a report on how many times my plate has been looked up and or how many times I've been pulled over? Any feedback would be appreciated.


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Squishy
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by: Squishy on
Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:28 pm

It's worth a shot to bring your plate cover to show the prosecutor that you've removed it. Offer to snap it in half in front of him. :D

As for clear plate covers, I know I have a heck of a time reading some of the plates behind those, especially if they're dirty. Close up, they look normal, but when you're trying to read from a moving vehicle, the covers do something to the reflectivity of normal plates. Normally my headlights will increase the contrast in the letters and I can read it from two car lengths away, but some covered plates stay "dull" and I have to get right up behind them. Don't get me started on blue or smoked covers... :evil:

A requirement of the HTA is that plates be kept plainly visible at all times.
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by: jayjonbeach on
Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:34 am

What I can't figure out, is how obstructing the plate in just about any way possible is illegal (look closely at HTA, it goes overboard), yet the $((@ ing Ministry sells you plate covers!!!???? :evil:

Someone please enlighten us on how/why this is going on

This might even help the OP


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by: LowNSlow on
Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:33 am

Squishy >> I'm going to try that. I personally think I was being picked on. By Websters definition my plate was in no manner obstructed and completely visible. Do you know if the ministry offers reimbursement for plates damaged due to rust? I agree that tinted covers are an issue but I don't buy that clear covers make things harder to see.


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by: Decatur on
Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:34 am

I've never seen licence plate covers for sale at Service Ontario, I have seen signs saying that they don't endorse any licence plate covers. Which ones are selling them?
The Ministry doesn't offer a reimbursement for damaged plates because they actually belong to the Ministry in the first place and are the property of the Crown. HTA sec 12(2) I beleive replacement plates (standard number series) cost about $20


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by: jayjonbeach on
Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:32 am

Decatur wrote:I've never seen licence plate covers for sale at Service Ontario, I have seen signs saying that they don't endorse any licence plate covers. Which ones are selling them?
Brampton on McLaughlin close to Steeles and in Square One Mississauga. They are advertised right on a bulletin board for everyone to see, they are clear covers, "protect your plates from damage" etc, etc $10.00

I even had an officer stop me for a ride check to see if drinking etc and when he seen my plate, gave me a warning that I need to remove cover because it was slightly tinted. HE TOLD ME I could buy covers at the Ministry!!!!

There is really some confusion on this overall I think, somebody, somewhere, needs to decide definitively whether or not clear covers should be allowed, and amend the HTA accordingly to avoid further confusion.

I actually want to buy the clear covers from Ministry but after looking at HTA closely dont think its a hot idea, this thread would seem to confirm


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by: Simon Borys on
Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:38 pm

I haven't reviewed this thread in detail, but if you were using a plate cover that you bought at a Service Ontario location, you may be able to rely on a defence of officially induced error, but I would not recommend attempting that on your own. That would be something a lawyer should assist you with.
http://www.boryslaw.ca
NOTHING I SAY ON HERE IS LEGAL ADVICE.


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by: Squishy on
Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:21 pm

Last I heard, MTO has a five year warranty on issued plates covering manufacturing defects (faded paint, premature rust, etc.). I can't find this listed on their website.

LowNSlow wrote: but I don't buy that clear covers make things harder to see.
Some do, some don't. I don't know if it's due to weather conditions or age or material quality, but some supposedly "clear" plate covers make reading plates as hard as if you were looking at them with your headlights off. The plate is readable, yes, but only at close distances once the sun goes down.
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by: Stanton on
Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:32 pm

Squishy wrote:Last I heard, MTO has a five year warranty on issued plates covering manufacturing defects (faded paint, premature rust, etc.). I can't find this listed on their website.
I know they admitted to a problem with the paint they were using for a few years, resulting in all the faded letter plates you see driving around. The Ministry definitely did state those would be replaced since it was a manufacturing error.
Squishy wrote:
LowNSlow wrote: but I don't buy that clear covers make things harder to see.
Some do, some don't. I don't know if it's due to weather conditions or age or material quality, but some supposedly "clear" plate covers make reading plates as hard as if you were looking at them with your headlights off. The plate is readable, yes, but only at close distances once the sun goes down.
I think some are due to age when the plastic starts to become opaque and many others are just due to dirt. Even for people who wash their cars regularly, dirt starts to build up on the inside of the cover where it’s flush against the plate. Unless the cover's removed for cleaning (especially in the winter), they become a mess.

I also recall my local MTO office used to have a sign saying they don’t recommend the use of plate covers, period. Now that they’re privately owned, I guess some might be the tempted to start selling accessories for extra money. Again, a clear plate cover should not be illegal per se, so the officer will have to articulate how it obstructed the readability of the plate.


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by: LowNSlow on
Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:43 am

So I called in to get clarification of the process. Thinks are handled in that area than in the GTA. I ended up mailing in the ticket and I will get a response with the ability to call the prosecutor before trial to see if something can get worked out. So we will see what happens and I'll update. I've since rid myself of the plate cover so Im hoping they throw this out.

Interestingly enough I went down the same stretch of highway to go to watch the Detroit vs GB game and at the same area what do I see? An OPP officer sitting with radar watching for speeders. So as I drive by I looked over to see if it was the same officer and continued on my way. What do you think happened? well I glanced in my rear view mirror only to notice him starting up. So I continue on and wait for the usual routine. Him gunning for me, Sit in my blind spot for a bout 5 minutes while he runs my plate, speed up beside me, look in to see who's in the car, fall back and then on come the lights. So I merge on to the shoulder and by have my info in hand (now my papers rest on the speedometer, this is getting more and more frequent). So I wait to see what I was being pulled over for because this time they have absolutely nothing on me.

"I noticed you were interested in me while you were driving by"

Really?! This is my offense? Come on now. This is getting ridiculous. So I explain that I get pulled over now weekly and let him know about the ticket that I got last time in the exact same place. I also told him I wasn't impressed with the assumption of the last officer who smelt air freshener in my car. So by that time his back up comes and they have me there for 30 minutes. I'm sitting with my lions jersey and hat on clearly going to the game. I'm not wanted, never been arrested and have a squeaky clean record. So he comes back , asks me what the thing on the back of my car is, I explain its a tow hook goes back for another 10 minutes, comes back gives me my papers and says "Be careful merging back onto the highway".

Ex-officers, please tell me what I'm doing wrong?

I'll keep you posted on the outcome of the initial ticket.


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by: Reflections on
Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:42 am

There is a thread here from a young gent who thought that he was being "racially" selected.

His solution was to write an essay, very well worded I might add, and sent it off to the local, Metro Toronto PS.

I believe his issues disappeared shortly after the letter was sent. I'll see if I can find it, but would advise you to look too, just in case I don't find it.

I think it's in the General section.
http://www.OHTA.ca OR http://www.OntarioTrafficAct.com


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by: Squishy on
Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:07 am

It snowballs the more often you get pulled over. The next officer to run your plates will hear back that those same plates were run two days ago. Officer after that hears that they were run two days ago as well as four days ago. They get curious as to why you're being run so often and pull you over to check.

I do remember the letter that was written and that poster said it did help. I'm not sure how but possibly a note goes into NICHE explaining the situation for anyone in that police service who runs the plate.
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by: LowNSlow on
Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:48 pm

Reflections wrote:There is a thread here from a young gent who thought that he was being "racially" selected.

His solution was to write an essay, very well worded I might add, and sent it off to the local, Metro Toronto PS.

I believe his issues disappeared shortly after the letter was sent. I'll see if I can find it, but would advise you to look too, just in case I don't find it.

I think it's in the General section.
I think I found the thread you were referring to here;

http://www.ontariohighwaytrafficact.com ... 85-15.html

I commend him for his actions and I'm glad they worked for him. The problem for me is I'd be sending letters to multiple divisions, mainly OPP in the Chatham area and peel police in Brampton. I'm wondering if there is some not on my plate that alerts them of what I have no clue but I get pulled over and followed like clockwork. Granted I leave my house for work between 0330 and 0400 Tues-Sat and I understand that at that time suspicious activities may be happening but I dont believe I need to be followed or pulled over once a week.

I dont wan to make a habit of essay writing, but I will open up Word if it continues. For now I will continue to be polite, provide documents and answers and be courteous. One thing I do want to do is record everytime I get pulled over so I have records of events. Is it illegal to record a conversation between an officer and I when I get pulled over?


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by: hwybear on
Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:06 pm

There is no record on the police system of each stop or incident. It is only on CPIC, which I think lasts for 7 days.

Only way a record gets on police system is a traffic complaint, then the officer has to tell the dispatcher to physically check the in house system which maybe i hear once every 2 months.

in the low end of volume is west of london has 25,000 vehicles a day, say 12 officers x 20 stops (on high end) would be 240 stops a day, now that is less that 1% of all vehicles getting stopped at that high a rate per officer. More than likely less than 0.5% get stopped
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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by: Squishy on
Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:14 pm

I wonder if it's different since you're HSD and I assume you have a workstation in your vehicle to do simple checks. The guys here call all plates into the com centre - parked, rolling, traffic stop, etc., and the dispatcher runs it through CPIC and ISS. I'd say a comment along the lines of "your marker was run yesterday morning by Peel, nothing given in the comments section" happens about once or twice a day.
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