obscured numberplate

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obscured numberplate

Postby filip » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:54 pm

I got booked the other day because my bike rack and bike 'obscured' the numberplate. No discussion, just a $397 fine.
Happy to have contributed to the safety of our roads.
Worthwile getting a rta approved bike rack numberplate at $38
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by BNA » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:07 pm

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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby Ozkaban » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:07 pm

It's within the law but still a major bummer. How obscured was the number plate?
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby RonK » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:13 pm

filip wrote:I got booked the other day because my bike rack and bike 'obscured' the numberplate. No discussion, just a $397 fine.
Happy to have contributed to the safety of our roads.
Worthwile getting a rta approved bike rack numberplate at $38

Not to mention the demerit points. I got a Qld accessory plate for that very reason - they can be ordered online and may you save a lot more than they cost.

BTW, don't be tempted to make your own - that is a more serious offence than having you plate obscured (in Qld at least).

It's also a good idea to attach a white led lamp to illuminate it if you are driving at night.
Last edited by RonK on Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby WyvernRH » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:14 pm

It only has to be 'obscured' in the opinion of the police officer, If you haven't got a rack plate then one day a copper looking for an easy pinch will get you.
Don't try moving the car plate onto the rack or the old colour printed copy of the plate, this is still illegal (in NSW at least)
If the bikes are 'covering' any of your lights or indicators they can do you for that too. :|
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby birdbrain » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:17 pm

$397 seems a bit harsh when the fine for opening a car door on a cyclist in Victoria is $352.
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby gorilla monsoon » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:28 pm

filip wrote:I got booked the other day because my bike rack and bike 'obscured' the numberplate. No discussion, just a $397 fine.
Happy to have contributed to the safety of our roads.
Worthwile getting a rta approved bike rack numberplate at $38


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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby biker jk » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:40 pm

birdbrain wrote:$397 seems a bit harsh when the fine for opening a car door on a cyclist in Victoria is $352.


This just reflects the low regard for cyclists. They're expendable.
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby wellington_street » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:50 pm

filip wrote:I got booked the other day because my bike rack and bike 'obscured' the numberplate. No discussion, just a $397 fine.
Happy to have contributed to the safety of our roads.
Worthwile getting a rta approved bike rack numberplate at $38


I thought this was fairly common knowledge and/or sense? (might be just the fact that from a young age my family car always had one)

Another thing you might want to be wary of is that it is illegal to have an empty bike rack on the back of your vehicle while driving. If it isn't being used to carry bikes then it must be taken off.
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby Ozkaban » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:15 pm

wellington_street wrote:Another thing you might want to be wary of is that it is illegal to have an empty bike rack on the back of your vehicle while driving. If it isn't being used to carry bikes then it must be taken off.

I've wondered about this. How do you transport a bike rack (say to pick up a cyclist) without a bike if *the bike rack* doesn't fit in the car?

Edited for clarity.
Last edited by Ozkaban on Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby outnabike » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:21 pm

Hi filip,
I just neatly inscribed a piece of white metal with a black texta , drilled a couple of holes and wired it to the out side of the bike. Mind you, that is still only for daylight hours though as it doesn't have a number plate light or any thing. Never had a problem in 20 years.
It's a fair cop really I suppose, but many folk just don't realise they are covering the plate up.
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby jcjordan » Mon Feb 04, 2013 5:59 pm

wellington_street wrote:

Another thing you might want to be wary of is that it is illegal to have an empty bike rack on the back of your vehicle while driving. If it isn't being used to carry bikes then it must be taken off.


Only in Victoria. I would love to know why?
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby Mulger bill » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:05 pm

jcjordan wrote:
wellington_street wrote:

Another thing you might want to be wary of is that it is illegal to have an empty bike rack on the back of your vehicle while driving. If it isn't being used to carry bikes then it must be taken off.


Only in Victoria. I would love to know why?


You know how the Govt views VicPlod traffic section these days, ChaChing...
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby wellington_street » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:08 pm

Ozkaban wrote:
wellington_street wrote:Another thing you might want to be wary of is that it is illegal to have an empty bike rack on the back of your vehicle while driving. If it isn't being used to carry bikes then it must be taken off.

I've wondered about this. How do you transport a bike rack (say to pick up a cyclist) without a bike if it doesn't fit in the car?


Use a trailer? I'm not sure, I've never had that issue myself. They are fairly small so should fit in most cars.

Only in Victoria. I would love to know why?


thanks for clarifying - not sure where OP is from. I assume it is seen as a safety issue in a crash situation? (guessing)
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby RonK » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:19 pm

jcjordan wrote:
wellington_street wrote:

Another thing you might want to be wary of is that it is illegal to have an empty bike rack on the back of your vehicle while driving. If it isn't being used to carry bikes then it must be taken off.


Only in Victoria. I would love to know why?

Nope - in Qld too. I've been given a warning ticket by Qld Police.

And making your own plate is also an offense attracting 40 penalty units.
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:23 pm

jcjordan wrote:
wellington_street wrote:

Another thing you might want to be wary of is that it is illegal to have an empty bike rack on the back of your vehicle while driving. If it isn't being used to carry bikes then it must be taken off.


Only in Victoria. I would love to know why?

Rule 405 - I'd check your local state rules. It may go beyond Victoria.

405 Vehicles must not be driven with an empty bicycle carrier attached
A person must not drive on a road a motor vehicle that has an empty bicycle carrier attached to the rear of the vehicle.
Penalty: 3 penalty units



I believe this is to avoid more severe damage and possible personal injury occurring in any nose to tail collision. I did believe it was also illegal to park the vehicle with a bike rack attached due to the risk of injury by people unwittingly walking into it. I can relate to this more and would not like to cause some elderly lady to crack her head on my bike rack. I always take my rack off, it's a simple spanner job.

Ozkaban wrote:I've wondered about this. How do you transport a bike rack (say to pick up a cyclist) without a bike if it doesn't fit in the car?

Buy yourself a bike rack that does fit in the boot. Most that I have used do. The large Thule et al bumper-style, wheel-supporting racks might be exempted as they are below grill height.
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby twowheels » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:55 pm

my father got pinged in about 1970 because his tow ball was obscuring the middle two characters of his number plate.
no i don't have an amazing memory, i still keep hearing about it!
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby trailgumby » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:08 pm

twowheels wrote:my father got pinged in about 1970 because his tow ball was obscuring the middle two characters of his number plate.
no i don't have an amazing memory, i still keep hearing about it!

:lol: :lol: :lol:

I hope that's not on a 6 minute rotation - that would be sad.
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby find_bruce » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:13 pm

Thanks for sharing, hopefully a few people will benefit from your expensive lesson.

A good tip I heard for night driving was to set your bike light up to shine on the plate- saves wiring up a separate light
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby il padrone » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:18 pm

I'd have to keep my front wheel spinning at >5kmh to do that :?
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby coyote » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:50 pm

il padrone wrote:I'd have to keep my front wheel spinning at >5kmh to do that :?


Not hard, just mount your bike hanging off the bike rack with the front wheel dragging on ground. :twisted: :wink:
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby Howzat » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:01 pm

Well, filip, at least for your $397 you've got a conversation-filler that will be good for the next 40 years.
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby oxonabike » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:04 pm

This is most educational. I had a local sign-writer print me up a facsimile of an accessory plate, however after reading above, have just been on the PPQ website ordering the proper thing.
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby Big_Red » Mon Feb 04, 2013 8:13 pm

Accessory plate from PPQ is $66. Just bought one myself to go on the 4 bike rack just purchased so that there is no chance of a fine. Guy at work bitched about being busted while having the bikes on a rack on holidays in Vic. Zero sympathy from me, as it has been a long standing issue that you must have a number plate visible at all times.
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby bychosis » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:15 am

If i didn't have a bike rack plate (I do now) I would put something on there. On a long trip a wihle back I took the plate off the car and put it on the rack, someone mentioned it as being illegal, but I'm sure its more legal than making your own plate. On this long trip I also had a copy of the receipt for the bike rack plate in the glove box as it hadn't arrived yet. This is a pian for short trips so I used an ice cream lid with texta - there is less chance of being pulled over on the short local trips (in my mind).

I have also seen an empty bike rack with a home made plate on it... that didn't match the car. Just asking for trouble
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Re: obscured numberplate

Postby Ozkaban » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:38 am

il padrone wrote:Buy yourself a bike rack that does fit in the boot. Most that I have used do. The large Thule et al bumper-style, wheel-supporting racks might be exempted as they are below grill height.


I've only just bought a rack that doesn't... It's a Thule 9106 which clips onto the back and has a platform to support two bikes. I think it might fit in the rear hatch (corolla) if nothing else was there and I was patient. One nice thing though is the platform folds up vertically flush with the rack and can be held there with the top tube clamp so if you walked into it you would have to really trying to. The other reason I bought the rack is that it's specifically designed to hold the bikes higher than the numberplate/lights thus not obscuring them. The trade off is wind resistance but it's not that bad.
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