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  1. #1
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    Ever Been Ticketed Because of Your Rack?

    I've always been surprised that nobody I know has ever been hassled by the police because their hitch mounted bike rack obscured the license plate on their vehicle.

    My wife and I both have Thule T2 rack on our vehicles and they pretty much block the view of the plate on both cars when folded up (not carrying bikes) We also know lots of other riders with similar racks and none of them have ever been pulled over for this seeming infraction.

    Maybe I'm mistaken, but isn't it a problem if your plate is not visible to Johnny law?
    There are three kinds of people: those of us that are good at math and those that are not.

  2. #2
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    i have a trunk rack anf the way i do the straps it blocks the plate and the other day my gf got stopped for it. but in this little town the cops gpot nothing better to do than stop ppl for little things.

  3. #3
    ballbuster
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    Yep... got popped for that a few years ago. Obscured license plate. Cop was searching for stuff. He thought I was talking on my cell phone... I wasn't

  4. #4
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    Not yet, and on one car I drilled a one inch hole through the center of the rear license plate to connect the rack to where the rear towing eye can screw in. So even without a bike on the rack I worry about getting busted (or at least questioned).

  5. #5
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    I've never received a ticket and I always have the T2 on my truck, either folded up without bikes or with a bike or two. I know for a fact when I was down in Florida once, it prevented me from getting a photo ticket for accidentally taking a Sunpass lane getting off the Florida Turnpike.
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  6. #6
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    Knock on wood, but I have never had an issue with my Thule T2. My good friend is a CHP officer, and he says its because people with high end bike racks tend to not be "bad guys". Now he also says if they pull you over and you are going to get tagged with something else they will most likely add the plate obstruction on to the charges, especially if they receive any attitude. Now if they suspect you of DUI they will use the rack as an excuse to pull you over, but generally speaking it is no problem.

  7. #7
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    ......nobody going to make a joke about not being ticketed because of their rack?

    I asked an officier this week about bike racks when he stopped me to inspect my boat/trailer. He said its become an issue but bigger problem is the bikes & rack obscuring brake lights.

  8. #8
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    Got pulled over by Colorado State Patrol for obscured plate with no bike. Luckily no ticket.

  9. #9
    ballbuster
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    Cop let me off because of my huge rack!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zamboni001 View Post
    ......nobody going to make a joke about not being ticketed because of their rack?

    I asked an officier this week about bike racks when he stopped me to inspect my boat/trailer. He said its become an issue but bigger problem is the bikes & rack obscuring brake lights.
    How's that? Happy?

    The punchline is that I'm a dude.





    Good to know about obscuring brake lights. My rack definitely obscures my brake lights... at least partially. I have a bud who made a magnetic stick on light set for his T2 that plugs in the trailer light plug.

  10. #10
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    Sitting at a traffic light and the cop pulls up behind me. Light turns green and whoop whoop goes the siren. I pull over on the other side of the intersection. The cop said I would receive a ticket for obstructing the plate if I didn't take the rack off. Ok rack comes off, not too big a deal right? Wrong. I went to stash it on the side of the road figuring I would come back for it later and he informs me that would be a $2000 littering ticket. Unfortunately I had my wife and kids in the car so I couldn't tell him to F off and couldn't accept a ticket like that. There was no room in the back because we had just finished school shopping and the hatch was full so in the pouring rain I had to open the roof and have my wife hold the rack as we drove away.

    Dic khead proceeded to follow me to the state line where, ten feet over the line, I stoppped and put the rack back on. F'n Danbury CT PD can go to hell!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gravitylover View Post
    Sitting at a traffic light and the cop pulls up behind me. Light turns green and whoop whoop goes the siren. I pull over on the other side of the intersection. The cop said I would receive a ticket for obstructing the plate if I didn't take the rack off. Ok rack comes off, not too big a deal right? Wrong. I went to stash it on the side of the road figuring I would come back for it later and he informs me that would be a $2000 littering ticket. Unfortunately I had my wife and kids in the car so I couldn't tell him to F off and couldn't accept a ticket like that. There was no room in the back because we had just finished school shopping and the hatch was full so in the pouring rain I had to open the roof and have my wife hold the rack as we drove away.

    Dic khead proceeded to follow me to the state line where, ten feet over the line, I stoppped and put the rack back on. F'n Danbury CT PD can go to hell!
    Was it a Danbury PD or CT State PD?

  12. #12
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    Danbury City.

    Wonder what would have happened if I had a bike or two with us...

  13. #13
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    Glad to live in MT when I read stuff like this. Bike racks covering a license plate is nothing compared to some of the crap people get away with driving/hauling/towing around here.

  14. #14
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    Should only be a secondary offense at best. I've gone for months with my bike rack on the back, both in CA and in WA.... never had a second glance.

    If you have a T2 like I do (or similar rack), then keep a red colored rag in the vehicle with you. If you get popped for obstructed plate, then fold the rack back down flat and tie the red flag on the end of it and be on your way. Even the Maybury City Barney Fife couldn't complain about that.

  15. #15
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    Got pulled over by Texas highway patrol for my T2 rack with bike, gave me a warning...as if there was something I could do about it while road tripping in an Impreza with luggage inside the car.

    In Europe, there are strict rules (and expensive but simple solutions) about that sort of thing, here in the US we don't. [rationalizing] With so many people who run around with plates under windows, and no plates at all, you'd think the cops would have better things to worry about. [/rationalizing] How about just using some consistency?

    Course, I was going nine mph over the limit with out of state tags, so it was probably 100% my fault.

  16. #16
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    I drive with my hitch mount on my truck all the time, I never take it off. I've never been pulled over or harrassed for it so I don't know for sure but I would think that if you did get a ticket for it that it would be easy to fight in court. You are using it for its intended purpose and consistant with the racks installation/use directions.
    Ahhhh...Ahhhh....it's the hammy, it's the hammy!!

  17. #17
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    Or if your really concerned about it you could write you tag info on a piece of paper then laminate it and attach it to the last bike somehow.
    Ahhhh...Ahhhh....it's the hammy, it's the hammy!!

  18. #18
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    got one once

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazy03 View Post
    ...I would think that if you did get a ticket for it that it would be easy to fight in court. You are using it for its intended purpose and consistant with the racks installation/use directions.
    Me thinks that state motor vehicle laws trump manufacturer's product data. Further, the Thule T2 specifically has a disclaimer in the product manual that reads, "Check local and state laws governing projection of objects beyond the perimeter of a vehicle."

  20. #20
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    Here in BC your plate must be clearly displayed and illuminated at night. Bike racks prevent that...don't ***** if/when you get the ticket.

  21. #21
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    Hello.

    We have a patented auxiliary lighting system for the back of your vehicle that also has a license plate holder if you are concerned about obstructed tail lights or an obscured license plate. Our website is Home Page

  22. #22
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    The auxiliary lighting system is pretty cool. We have our bikes on the front of our vehicle do you have anything for that? We will be starting a road trip here pretty soon for worldbikeparks and we will have four bikes on the front.

  23. #23
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    I just take it off when I'm not transporting bikes. Never been a problem. Cops use hitch racks to drive their bike-patrol bikes around. If one ever gets a ticket for this, do some surveillance on the bike-patrol unit and bring the photos to the judge.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gravitylover View Post
    so in the pouring rain I had to open the roof and have my wife hold the rack as we drove away.

    Dic khead proceeded to follow me to the state line where, ten feet over the line, I stoppped and put the rack back on. F'n Danbury CT PD can go to hell!
    OMG, he was seriously just ****ing with you to be a dick. Had he seriously intented to ticket you for littering, he would also have had to ticket you for having an unsecured rack on the top of the vehicle. Welcome to dickworld.

  25. #25
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    No, we don't have a product for the front of the vehicle at this time.

  26. #26
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    It's been legal to obstruct your license plate with a bike rack in Texas since September of 2007. The law states you're fine as long as you install the rack normally.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by flaxman View Post
    It's been legal to obstruct your license plate with a bike rack in Texas since September of 2007. The law states you're fine as long as you install the rack normally.
    There is a specific law for this? That's a money generation scam. All you are required to do is obey the laws for towing a trailer that does not require licensing. The plate doesn't even have to be visible, that is just a convenience for the officer. You are only required to have the plate on your person, so you can present it to the officer upon request.

    Any law that requires a plate to be invisible would kill 99.9% of the cargo tray business, yet there's not one state going after the manufacturers of these trays... because they'd lose revenue handing out idiot tickets to people that don't understand they are being shafted.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    There is a specific law for this? That's a money generation scam. All you are required to do is obey the laws for towing a trailer that does not require licensing. The plate doesn't even have to be visible, that is just a convenience for the officer. You are only required to have the plate on your person, so you can present it to the officer upon request.

    Any law that requires a plate to be invisible would kill 99.9% of the cargo tray business, yet there's not one state going after the manufacturers of these trays... because they'd lose revenue handing out idiot tickets to people that don't understand they are being shafted.
    Yep. Because of that quot I went and looked it up because there are some board cops around here who will try to ticket you for BS.

    Texas Law on LP
    7) has a coating, covering, protective material, or other apparatus that:
    (A) distorts angular visibility or detectability;
    Things that exempt to 7a.

    (c) Subsection (a)(7) may not be construed to apply to:
    (1) a trailer hitch installed on a vehicle in a normal or customary manner;
    (2) a transponder, as defined by Section 228.057, that is attached to a vehicle in the manner required by the issuing authority;
    (3) a wheelchair lift or wheelchair carrier that is attached to a vehicle in a normal or customary manner;
    (4) a trailer being towed by a vehicle; or
    (5) a bicycle rack that is attached to a vehicle in a normal or customary manner.
    - See more at: TEX TN. CODE ANN. § 502.409 : Texas Statutes - Section 502.409: WRONG, FICTITIOUS, ALTERED, OR OBSCURED LICENSE PLATE

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Timeless View Post
    Yep. Because of that quot I went and looked it up because there are some board cops around here who will try to ticket you for BS.

    Texas Law on LP


    Things that exempt to 7a.
    Couldn't find that Section, but did find this in the Texas Statutes:TRANSPORTATION CODE CHAPTER 504. LICENSE PLATES

    Printed it up in a PDF and placed in my visor.


    Unrelated, but also found some other link that receiver hitches tend to cause more whiplash and rear-ended vehicle passengers. The National Safety Commission Alerts: How Receiver Hitches Affect Rear End Collision Injuries

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimsander View Post
    Couldn't find that Section, but did find this in the Texas Statutes:TRANSPORTATION CODE CHAPTER 504. LICENSE PLATES

    Printed it up in a PDF and placed in my visor.


    Unrelated, but also found some other link that receiver hitches tend to cause more whiplash and rear-ended vehicle passengers. The National Safety Commission Alerts: How Receiver Hitches Affect Rear End Collision Injuries
    Yeah it looks like it it has moved sense I found it. Still in there as an exception with a bike rack. Just a little farther down.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

  31. #31
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    Been here for a almost decade, but just now resurrecting this thread?

    Quote Originally Posted by Timeless View Post
    Yep. Because of that quot I went and looked it up because there are some board cops around here who will try to ticket you for BS.

    Texas Law on LP


    Things that exempt to 7a.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by gravitylover View Post
    Sitting at a traffic light and the cop pulls up behind me. Light turns green and whoop whoop goes the siren. I pull over on the other side of the intersection. The cop said I would receive a ticket for obstructing the plate if I didn't take the rack off. Ok rack comes off, not too big a deal right? Wrong. I went to stash it on the side of the road figuring I would come back for it later and he informs me that would be a $2000 littering ticket. Unfortunately I had my wife and kids in the car so I couldn't tell him to F off and couldn't accept a ticket like that. There was no room in the back because we had just finished school shopping and the hatch was full so in the pouring rain I had to open the roof and have my wife hold the rack as we drove away.

    Dic khead proceeded to follow me to the state line where, ten feet over the line, I stoppped and put the rack back on. F'n Danbury CT PD can go to hell!
    A platform hitch rack? If so, why not just drop it horizontal and eliminate the obstruction? It wouldn't exceed the maximum overhang limit.


    Oh ****, nevermind....I see now, this is an old thread.
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