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Old 07-18-10, 08:32 PM   #1
ecrider
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Got stopped by cops today...

While driving my vehicle back from a bike ride at a National Park, I got stopped by a county deputy for having an expired inspection sticker and the fact that my bikes blocked my license plate.

I use a Saris T Rax, which does block the view of my license number. I was ticketed for the inspection sticker infraction but he let me off on the bike rack infraction. My son said that he was looking to tack on another charge and not to worry about trying to figure out how to better display my back license plate on the next outing. I kinda agree. Most of the time you won't get stopped for this sort of thing and, when you do, they don't write you up.

What's been your experience ?
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Old 07-18-10, 08:37 PM   #2
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Law enforcement is finicky. You got off easy. They usually like to collect signatures. Sometimes, when you have a youth with you they won't totally rain on a father son day. Can you lift your rack higher.
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Old 07-18-10, 09:33 PM   #3
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I thought you were going to tell us you were stopped for speeding riding your bike. I've found that if you're polite to the officer it helps, not that I've had a lot of experience of being stopped by them that is.
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Old 07-18-10, 09:38 PM   #4
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I thought you were going to tell us you were stopped for speeding riding your bike. I've found that if you're polite to the officer it helps, not that I've had a lot of experience of being stopped by them that is.
I was polite but I can't help but wonder why the racks are designed to obscure the license number when it's an issue with some law enforcement. The Saris post mounts on a receiver directly below the plate. Even without bikes it partially obscures the plate. Oh yeah, speeding? I think i'd gladly pay that one given my usual pace.
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Old 07-18-10, 09:48 PM   #5
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get the car inspected immediately then go to court to appeal the ticket. tell them you were sorry to have missed the inspection date and show them that you got it inspected right away. they should dismiss the ticket.
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Old 07-18-10, 10:14 PM   #6
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It is sad that some states still enforce the inspection sticker racket, but laws are laws be they good or bad.

I quit using rear-mounted racks after being rear-ended. Fortunately, my bike was not on the rack at the time of the accident. I switched to a roof-rack, but ultimately bought a mini-van with fold-down rear seats so that I could carry my bike safely inside.

Not sure where I was headed with this. Blame it on the beer . . .
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Old 07-19-10, 01:19 AM   #7
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First, see if they'll let you get a duplicate plate. I'm not sure about normal ones, but I've got at least two extras of my Radio Operator plates around. Then you can mount one permanently on the end of the rack or hang it on with bungee cords or something when you have the rack in place.
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Old 07-19-10, 04:22 AM   #8
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Trailers........which attach to the same hitch also obscure the plate.............
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Old 07-19-10, 04:47 AM   #9
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Trailers........which attach to the same hitch also obscure the plate.............
Trailers are issued their own plates in most, if not all, states. The cops are technically correct for stopping anyone with obscured plates. Most, however, will enforce the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law...thus, a warning instead of a ticket. It is legal "Probable Cause" for them to conduct a traffic enforcement stop on the motorist to see who's behind the wheel if they choose. They just never know what they'll find
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Old 07-19-10, 06:01 AM   #10
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Trailers are issued their own plates in most, if not all, states. The cops are technically correct for stopping anyone with obscured plates. Most, however, will enforce the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law...thus, a warning instead of a ticket. It is legal "Probable Cause" for them to conduct a traffic enforcement stop on the motorist to see who's behind the wheel if they choose. They just never know what they'll find
That may be the case here. Another cop car also arrived at the scene and I thought that was strange. Maybe they thought they had a fish on the line. But everything else checked out okay and they let me go.
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Old 07-19-10, 06:02 AM   #11
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Trailers........which attach to the same hitch also obscure the plate.............
while riding home we noticed a small trailer hauling a SeaDo, which totally obscured the plate. No trailer license either.
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Old 07-19-10, 06:03 AM   #12
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First, see if they'll let you get a duplicate plate. I'm not sure about normal ones, but I've got at least two extras of my Radio Operator plates around. Then you can mount one permanently on the end of the rack or hang it on with bungee cords or something when you have the rack in place.
Good idea.
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Old 07-19-10, 06:35 AM   #13
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State and local governments are so desperate for money I am afraid it is going to get lots worse on these type of things.
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Old 07-19-10, 07:09 AM   #14
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Just a guess-while technically correct it almost sounds like you were stopped by someone who was looking for a reason to stop bike riders.
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Old 07-19-10, 07:21 AM   #15
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In Maine, you are supposed to have a front plate, I got stopped once because I had a custom plate instead of the state issued one.
I was told once by a officer that most of the time when they stop you for the front plate violation, they just want to check you out, like someone above posted.
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Old 07-19-10, 08:10 AM   #16
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In Maine, you are supposed to have a front plate, I got stopped once because I had a custom plate instead of the state issued one.
I was told once by a officer that most of the time when they stop you for the front plate violation, they just want to check you out, like someone above posted.
In municipalities that have traffic cameras, a state issued front plate is required, and usually comes with a substantial fine for having a missing or custom front plate.
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Old 07-19-10, 08:27 AM   #17
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It is sad that some states still enforce the inspection sticker racket, but laws are laws be they good or bad.

I quit using rear-mounted racks after being rear-ended. Fortunately, my bike was not on the rack at the time of the accident. I switched to a roof-rack . . . [/I]
Not an option for me - I have a Corvette convertible. My Cadillac STS won't accept a roof rack or a trunk mount rack either. My only option is a bicycle rack that fits into a trailer hitch receiver.

As for roof racks: I saw a guy in a Honda destroy 2 very nice road bikes by driving under a canopy.
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Old 07-19-10, 09:16 AM   #18
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My (Allen) rack is nice and high, and my plate is nice and low.
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Old 07-19-10, 10:44 AM   #19
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and usually comes with a substantial fine for having a missing or custom front plate.
It would be $50 in Maryland( missing). I know this to be so true too.
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Old 07-19-10, 11:54 AM   #20
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In Ohio, as long as the numer is visible and you can show that you've got the plate & registration, you're in the clear. You don't need a state-issued duplicate plate, you just need something showing the state and license no.
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Old 07-19-10, 12:00 PM   #21
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ecrider, The inspection sticker is a non moving violation. Get a recipt from the inspection station and present it in court, they're often dismissed, but then again these are hard times for most towns.

Brad

PS ciocc_cat, Inspections are a pain in the butt, especially if one has a hot rod or two, but I'd rather have them than not. My youngest went to school in Oklahoma (I don't know where I went wrong!) and there are some rat traps on the road up there.

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Old 07-19-10, 04:02 PM   #22
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In MA, I have not heard of anyone getting ticketed for this, but that does not mean is isn't happening. I frequently see motor vehicles going along, with bikes hanging on the back, positioned in such a way as to block a clear view of the license plate. That is a citable offense.

Cities and towns in MA are all scrambling for cash, and the motorists of this state have always been treated as private ATM's. I am hearing of people getting nailed for going only a few miles over the posted speed limits. A few years ago, most cops here would give you a verbal warning for that, and just ask you to please slow it down. Not today.
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Old 07-19-10, 06:52 PM   #23
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As for roof racks: I saw a guy in a Honda destroy 2 very nice road bikes by driving under a canopy.
Which is one of the reasons why I got the mini-van. Memories of the time my buddy Mark almost drove our "team van" with a roof rack carrying some very expensive bikes under the roof of a drive-up liquor store in 1977 have always haunted me.
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Old 07-19-10, 07:57 PM   #24
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Another cop car also arrived at the scene and I thought that was strange.
Police officers back each other up as a precaution, not necessarily because they think they have an overtly dangerous situation. Also it gets lonely sitting in a patrol car for eight hours or more a day, sometimes they do it as an excuse to talk to a buddy.
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Old 07-19-10, 08:13 PM   #25
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A mini van is a great way to transport bikes or other cargo. It also has an advantage over pick-up trucks in improved security.

I love my autos and I have no payments. I don't want to give up my autos and have a capital expenditure.
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