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  1. #1
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    Ontario - Obstruct license plate

    I got a ticket today for obstructing my rear license plate with my bike rack. I get that it is the law, but this is a common violation and the officer did say he was giving everyone a ticket that he catches with bikes blocking the view of the rear license plate. Nice!
    I asked the officer what the solution was and he didn't offer up anything. I said, I could mount the plate on the back of the rack, but he said that the plate had to be attached to the car.
    So it looks like it is time to give up mountain biking or get rid of my fuel efficient car and buy a big ass truck to haul my **** around in. Yeah that makes sense.
    I do put a bike or two on my roof, but the hitch rack is a lot more convenient and carries extra bikes when the roof box is on.

    My tent trailer blocks the license plate completely, but the trailer has a license. Why don't they allow us to mount the plate to or license hitch rack?
    I have a grand invested in the hitch rack system, I can't just stop using it. Well I guess I could sell it to the next person and let them get the next ticket.

    What are your thoughts?

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    I have heard of people getting this ticket but it won`t stop be from using my hitch rack. It is really just a BS ticket and a money grab. I mean towing just about anything will block the rear license plate. Do they pull over everyone towing something. If it were me I would request a court date and make them work for their money.

  3. #3
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    fight it. I got ticket for having a clear cover over my license plate. Had to take it off, but was let go by the judge after he explained me that all covers are illegal. I have the hitch mount rack and never ever had an issue with it...

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    Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H. 8

    13. (1) No number other than that upon the number plate furnished by the Ministry shall be exposed on any part of a motor vehicle or trailer in such a position or manner as to confuse the identity of the number plate. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 13 (1).

    (2) Every number plate shall be kept free from dirt and obstruction and shall be affixed so that the entire number plate, including the numbers, is plainly visible at all times, and the view of the number plate shall not be obscured or obstructed by spare tires, bumper bars, any part of the vehicle, any attachments to the vehicle or the load carried. 1994, c. 27, s. 138 (7).

    (3) The number plates shall not be obstructed by any device that prevents the entire number plates including the numbers from being accurately photographed using a photo-radar system. 1993, c. 31, s. 2 (5).

    (3.0.1) The number plates shall not be obstructed by any device that prevents the entire number plates including the numbers from being accurately photographed using a red light camera system. 1998, c. 38, s. 2 (1).

    (3.1) The number plates shall not be obstructed by any device or material that prevents the entire number plates including the numbers from being identified by an electronic toll system. 1996, c. 1, Sched. E, s. 2 (1).

    (4) Every person who contravenes subsection (2), (3), (3.0.1) or (3.1) is guilty of an offence. 1993, c. 31, s. 2 (5); 1996, c. 1, Sched. E, s. 2 (2); 1998, c. 38, s. 2 (2).
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  5. #5
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    yep, no doubt it is illegal by the strict letter of the law.

    However - I fully expect that the prosecutore or the judge quashes the charge at their discretion. The cop who ticketed him is just PATHETIC.

  6. #6
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    Fight it. Good chance of getting the fine reduced. Also good chance of convincing the JP that the offence is unreasonable, especially if you point out all of the campers on the 400 and 401 that are blocking the plate of the principle vehicle.

    Next step, get your MPP to introduce a bill to amend the HTA so that this sh!t doesn't happen again!

  7. #7
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    Silly

    I received a "warning" ticket for having a clear cover over my plate; but my plate was barely visibible (February) after I had driven it from Toronto to Ottawa and the salt stains made my plate virtually invisible ... but the constable who pulled me over addressed me by my name when I rolled down the window ... how did he know my name? well he got it by looking up my plate? so he could read it.

    I also use a hitch rack all the time and sometimes leave it on all week because I know I'll be using it for ferrying bikes to or from the shop or to my favourite riding destinations. Sure it blocks the view of the plate.

    So you got a ticket because you were trying to be out in Ontarion and enjoying yourself? What other crazy things can we have to keep us all bottled up at home and watching Survivorman?
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  8. #8
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    My thoughts are that you're being a big cry baby about all of this. Man up, make some kind of adaptor/relocator for the plate, take pics of it, explain yourself in Court and hope that it get's (either) thrown out or at least fine reduced (with no addition of points).

    You're obviously guilty - the task now is to play nice and minimize future potential damage(s).


    As for the comments about a trailer blocking the (towing) vehicle's license plate - since ALL trailers in Ontario need to be registered to *someone* there's little/no concern for seeing the plate info on the towing vehicle. Any need to issue a ticket could/would be sent to the trailer owner. Whether or not it's the trailer owner at fault or not (perhaps letting someone borrow a trailer - and this is the reason you DON'T do this) is irrelevant and Canada's Justice system doesn't give a damn, either. It becomes the trailer owner's responsibility to clear him/herself of the offense(s).
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  9. #9
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    I disagree. I have been driving with the hitch bike rack for the last three years. I guess I was lucky that I didn't run into this cop that had nothing else to do and had enough coffee and donuts in the cruiser so he didn't have to go to the Timmies. Cops like this give the whole Police a bad rap. Why did he ticket him? Lack of common sense? To serve and protect? Give me an f-ing break. If I could, honestly, I would have had a roof rack, but I can't - so I have to use the hitch one. It is what it is by design, there is no way around it. So now we have to have a cop on every corner ticketing people with hitch bike racks???? The intent of the law is to prevent abuse. There is no abuse in this case. Hence I suggested that the Justice of the Peace will exercise more common sense that is lacking with our Police force.

    Sigh... What a waste of our taxpayers money (trial) but the responsibility is on the officer. FIGHT!!!

  10. #10
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    How much is the ticket for this??? Everytime I haul my dirtbike around in my truck my tailgate is down and the plate is obstructed, which explains why I've never gotten a 407 toll charge

    When I had my car I used a hitch mount setup for my bikes. I was stopped and given a warning once that my lights are not visible enough with a bike on the rack.... nothing said about the plate.

  11. #11
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    Interesting. I see lots of cars with clear and also coloured plate covers driving around. Ditto for hitch racks. This is another of those laws that the police choose to ignore 99.9% of the time. But if the police are intent on pulling you over, it seems they always find something. It's a piss-off when they nail someone for that, meanwhile all sorts of stupid driving practises go unchecked!!

    ps - I think they can also charge you if your bike(s) is blocking your brake lights?
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  12. #12
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    I'm sure its a matter of time before I get one. I heard lots of people getting the down in the States but never really heard much up hear. If I had to put mine on and off all the time I doubt I would go out much as I am limited on time as it is and if it takes more time to load up and reinstall the rack I doubt I will ride. There should be a better way for the plates and the racks to make everybody happy.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    I disagree. I have been driving with the hitch bike rack for the last three years. I guess I was lucky that I didn't run into this cop that had nothing else to do and had enough coffee and donuts in the cruiser so he didn't have to go to the Timmies. Cops like this give the whole Police a bad rap. Why did he ticket him? Lack of common sense? To serve and protect? Give me an f-ing break. If I could, honestly, I would have had a roof rack, but I can't - so I have to use the hitch one. It is what it is by design, there is no way around it. So now we have to have a cop on every corner ticketing people with hitch bike racks???? The intent of the law is to prevent abuse. There is no abuse in this case. Hence I suggested that the Justice of the Peace will exercise more common sense that is lacking with our Police force.

    Sigh... What a waste of our taxpayers money (trial) but the responsibility is on the officer. FIGHT!!!
    I'm shocked, Oggie. You're far far more intelligent that this.

    You disagree with what - that he is guilty of breaking the law? Or something(s) else? (rhetorical)

    As for the rest of it - no one except the ticketing Officer knows why he gave him the ticket. Period. Maybe the OP was shooting his mouth off for all we know. Maybe the Officer was "having a bad day". Maybe a whoooooole bunch of other reasons/excuses.

    The fact of the matter is that he was caught. There are MILLIONS of people - EVERY DAY - that break the law and get away with it. These range from small misdemeanors to serious criminal offenses. Most people get their turn eventually, some don't. This time it was the OP's turn. He's guilty and he's even admitted it here. Eh, too bad.

    Whether or not he want's to fight the ticket is up to him. But there's a chance (!) that he'll need to make some arrangement to fix this. Imho, best bet is to beat "them" to the punch and fix it, then use it as "back up" when in Court to show a level of forethought and responsible behavior to get one's butt out of a ticket/fine.


    Have you never heard of guys riding $5000 road bike's with no horns, lights or reflectors only to get a few hundred dollar's worth of tickets? I have. I work with one. It's the same thing. Fight or not, the Law will want to see some kind of fix before they give you a break. Beat them to the punch and save everyone some time. The only idea at this point should be to minimize further future damage(s). It's not time to crawl into a hole and die because one "can't go mountain biking anymore" - THAT is the looser's attitude (BlackOut's end of post represented this well). The winner fight's - as I showed above. One just needs to see the action as the type of fight it IS.



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    Thanks for all of the great replies everyone.
    Just so everyone knows MountainKat = female human - although sometimes I am referred to as a feline when someone mistakes me for a Cougar

    I am not disputing that I am guilty of having my plates blocked, it just creates a catch 22.
    I have a fuel efficient car because this makes sense 90% of the time. The problem is in order to carry enough stuff on said car I need to utilize a roof rack and hitch rack to carry bikes and camping gear.
    I am pointing out that I am not sure what the solution is here. It appears that the MTO does not provide a solution to the problem like the Australian gov't does
    Bike Rack Number Plates
    Since there are a ton of cars out there with all kinds of gear which partially obstruct the plate, this is a common problem. Even a tow ball that sticks up in front of the plate could be deemed to be obstructing the view of the plate.
    I know this happened because I got caught up in the long weekend revenue grab. They probably have some kind of contest to write the most tickets so they can report it on the news.
    I have no problem with paying the ticket, I'm just not sure what the solution is for moving my plate to a legal suitable location on my vehicle. If I move it from the current location, I am sure some officer will say that the new location is not legal and give me another ticket. Also, any new location would also have to have a light to illuminate it in the dark which is another legal requirement as well.

    I am definitely going to bring the problem and the Australian solution to the attention of my MPP, MTO etc.

  15. #15
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    Andrew, when you start your post questioning his/her intelligence - don't expect them to read the rest of the post. Just a suggestion.

    However, I did read your post and will consider the opening statement as your misjudgement.

    So you are saying he got CAUGHT for transporting his bike on his car. Meaning that thousands of drivers who have hitch mount bike racks, trunk mount bike racks etc just haven't been caught YET. Also, I know another FEW HUNDRED, maybe few thousands of riders on $5000 (PLUS) road or mountain bikes who do not have bike bells or reflectors and was on hundreds of rides with most of these guys where no one was stopped and cited.

    I disagreed with you "among other things" because you called MountainCat a "big cry baby". Similar to questioning one's intelligence. No need...

    Again, by the letter of the law - this cop is not wrong. But that is not making him RIGHT. Consider the intent of the law. Obstructing the license plate for the reason of not being charged for using the 407 or for the reason of preventing the red light camera capturing the info, or for any other obviously malicious reason - by all means.

    But for transporting the bike - while this cop probably lets other crap fly around him - is just weak and makes me wonder how they expect us to give them our respect and support.

  16. #16
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    and you HAVE TO FIGHT THE TICKET and ask these same REASONABLE questions to the JUSTICE OF THE PEACE. That is as important as talking to your MPP.

    Alternatively - set up the meeting with the prosecutor - just go to the address on the back of the ticket - one of the provincial courts and request the meeting. I am fairly sure they will drop the charge without the need to go to the court.

  17. #17
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    Make sure you request a court date and fight it. Every ticket I have ever received I have taken to court and they have all been either thrown out or reduced. Using these offenses as a revenue generator require that people just quietly pay their tickets. If even 25 percent of people did this then the system would grind to a halt. At the very least I like to make sure that it costs them more to get the money from me then what they make.

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    Transportation
    General Motor's integrated, retractable Flex-Fit bike rack
    By Darren Murph posted Oct 4th 2006 11:25PM
    If you've been yearning for a long weekend on the campgrounds, and you've already made arrangements for a svelte hotel / tent hybrid to reside in, the only thing missing (besides the obligatory USB-powered lantern) is your bicycle. General Motors has developed a sleeker, more elegant method to hauling around your bike of choice than those awkward third-party apparatuses; its Flex-Fit system consists of an integrated bike rack that covertly hides within the rear bumper of your automobile, and at the presumed press of a button, the system pulls a stunt akin to those found in highly touted spy films. By sliding out from beneath the vehicle in order to holster the bike and expose a secondary license plate (in case the boys in blue need to check up on you), it removes the hassle of affixing a rack onto your ride, only to worry over its stability the entire trip. Once the bicycle has been removed, the mechanism slides conveniently back into the vehicle, leaving no trace of the SUV's carrying abilities. The system is only available on the (European) Opel Antara at the moment, and while we aren't sure if the Flex-Fit will ever find its way on to vehicles destined for America, having a bike onboard could be an excellent backup should you run out of fuel (or money to afford it).




    Not sure if this ever made it on a production vehicle, but its a great idea. Obviously a problem all over the world.

  19. #19
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    Unfortunately, WE PAY the cost of the trial as well, through our tax money, anyway. How do you spell a DOUBLE WHAMMY?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    Unfortunately, WE PAY the cost of the trial as well, through our tax money, anyway. How do you spell a DOUBLE WHAMMY?
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  21. #21
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    MountainKat - I apologize for calling you a cry baby. I find it very troublesome when people complain about receiving an infraction for something that was their fault. Yes, I do feel bad that they, or you in this case, got a ticket for something so incredibly stupid, regardless of any other variables that may or may not be at play, but you're still guilty and it's still fair ("fair"). Yes, it further sucks that you now have to go through whatever trouble to fix it because an Officer couldn't find something better to pick on, but sometimes "them's the breaks". I've been on that side of the fence before and don't care for it either.

    Heck, who knows, maybe the Officer thought you were cute and wanted to see you all dressed up in Court?!?!?!

    I see you are new here. Please don't think my post is typical behavior of this forum. Usually people are polite and well mannered ..... usually.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamieDavies



    Transportation
    General Motor's integrated, retractable Flex-Fit bike rack
    By Darren Murph posted Oct 4th 2006 11:25PM
    If you've been yearning for a long weekend on the campgrounds, and you've already made arrangements for a svelte hotel / tent hybrid to reside in, the only thing missing (besides the obligatory USB-powered lantern) is your bicycle. General Motors has developed a sleeker, more elegant method to hauling around your bike of choice than those awkward third-party apparatuses; its Flex-Fit system consists of an integrated bike rack that covertly hides within the rear bumper of your automobile, and at the presumed press of a button, the system pulls a stunt akin to those found in highly touted spy films. By sliding out from beneath the vehicle in order to holster the bike and expose a secondary license plate (in case the boys in blue need to check up on you), it removes the hassle of affixing a rack onto your ride, only to worry over its stability the entire trip. Once the bicycle has been removed, the mechanism slides conveniently back into the vehicle, leaving no trace of the SUV's carrying abilities. The system is only available on the (European) Opel Antara at the moment, and while we aren't sure if the Flex-Fit will ever find its way on to vehicles destined for America, having a bike onboard could be an excellent backup should you run out of fuel (or money to afford it).




    Not sure if this ever made it on a production vehicle, but its a great idea. Obviously a problem all over the world.
    Great ..... until you get hit from behind. That's one expensive bumper repair. I can't help but think the aftermarket solution is far more feasible and financially responsible. (ever bought a replacement part from a dealership?) Still very interesting and unique though.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainKat
    Thanks for all of the great replies everyone.
    Just so everyone knows MountainKat = female human - although sometimes I am referred to as a feline when someone mistakes me for a Cougar

    I am not disputing that I am guilty of having my plates blocked, it just creates a catch 22.
    I have a fuel efficient car because this makes sense 90% of the time. The problem is in order to carry enough stuff on said car I need to utilize a roof rack and hitch rack to carry bikes and camping gear.
    I am pointing out that I am not sure what the solution is here. It appears that the MTO does not provide a solution to the problem like the Australian gov't does
    Bike Rack Number Plates
    Since there are a ton of cars out there with all kinds of gear which partially obstruct the plate, this is a common problem. Even a tow ball that sticks up in front of the plate could be deemed to be obstructing the view of the plate.
    I know this happened because I got caught up in the long weekend revenue grab. They probably have some kind of contest to write the most tickets so they can report it on the news.
    I have no problem with paying the ticket, I'm just not sure what the solution is for moving my plate to a legal suitable location on my vehicle. If I move it from the current location, I am sure some officer will say that the new location is not legal and give me another ticket. Also, any new location would also have to have a light to illuminate it in the dark which is another legal requirement as well.

    I am definitely going to bring the problem and the Australian solution to the attention of my MPP, MTO etc.
    Would you feel comfortable posting a picture of what one see's when you're "all rigged up"?

    I'm not a pro mechanic, but i've been working on cars for almost 20 years. I might be able to help.
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  24. #24
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    I may be guilty of skimming this thread, but is it possible to get a trailer plate for your rack and register it? You are able to haul devices using it and it is behind the vehicle. A trailer? Maybe not but close...

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by egggman
    I may be guilty of skimming this thread, but is it possible to get a trailer plate for your rack and register it? You are able to haul devices using it and it is behind the vehicle. A trailer? Maybe not but close...
    A trailer isn't a trailer without it's own axle(s). I don't think it would be prudent of the gov't to make cyclists do such a thing - the extra cost and responsibility isn't even reasonable.
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  26. #26
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    I agree, but a way to make it legal would be nice. Either way they get some cash...

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainKat
    I am pointing out that I am not sure what the solution is here. It appears that the MTO does not provide a solution to the problem like the Australian gov't does
    Welcome to the wonderful world of law ENFORCEMENT. They'll never tell you that you're doing good, nor give praise where it's due, in fact they're only there to let you know that you're doing things wrong and thus punish you for it.

    I went through this many years ago when I worked in the transportation industry. On the topic of "load securement" there isn't an OPP or an MTO officer anywhere in the province that will show us what a secure load IS, but they'll be quick to issue the driver a large ticket if they perceive one to be unsecure.

    If you were to ask one they'd probably say something about due dilligence and being "proactive" and then pat you on your head and send you on your way. That's where I think Andrew is going with his replies. Unless you do everything you can to ensure the plate is clearly visible, then you're rolling the dice, and you could get caught.

  28. #28
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    Here ya go... lighted license plate bolts, just the thing for moving the plate
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  29. #29
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    I would think that you could definitely attach your plate to your bike rack. Yes the plate must be attached to the vehicle, but the rack is attached to the vehicle, and the plate attached to the rack, so logic dictates that the plate is therefore attached to the vehicle. Just don't forget to reattach the plate to your vehicle when you take your rack off. Make sure to do a decent job when constructing your plate mount.

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    It would be great to have a way to make it legal.
    This really is a case of writing a ticket for the sake of writing a ticket. He could have also wrote a ticket for speeding or not having a clear view of the taillights. I guess it was just license plate day.
    In the end I guess I was thinking that the bike rack was an allowable obscurement like my trailer is and that in this situation the front plate would suffice.

    Here is what the rack looks like with two bikes on it. With only my bike on it you can see the four letters on the plate but not the numbers. Also, when the rack is empty and folded up it also blocks the view of the plate.
    Ontario - Obstruct license plate-bike-rack.jpg

    So basically to make it legal I need to move the plate to the location between the bikes wheels.

    Thanks for the apology AndrewTO, and it is okay as I understand this is the internet and people's thoughts and feeling sometimes come across to others differently than what was intended. I don't mean to complain, I just want to know what the solution is, so I can continue to transport bikes without racking up fines.

  31. #31
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    That plate is pretty obscured.
    He may have selected the license plate ticket because it was the ticket least likely to be fought or the cheapest/least points.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTO
    Great ..... until you get hit from behind. That's one expensive bumper repair. I can't help but think the aftermarket solution is far more feasible and financially responsible. (ever bought a replacement part from a dealership?) Still very interesting and unique though.
    most collisions end in a write off anyway.

    I was a car mechanic for 15 years, so yes bought many parts from the dealer.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocks'r'friends
    That plate is pretty obscured.
    He may have selected the license plate ticket because it was the ticket least likely to be fought or the cheapest/least points.
    That's still pretty stupid. I'm with Oggie; this has nothing to do with Serve and Protect. I'd fight it just on principle. Stay outta my freakin' pockets and use your time to find some way to convict tipsy power-tripping politicians in Saabs!

    I know what NWA would have to say about this...
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    After reading this post yesterday I went for a walk and every single car or van that had a bike rack (rear mount) on with bikes had its plate obscured. So if this is such an issue with the police gthen these racks should not evem be made. Yes now I am going to get its buyer beware just because you can buy it doesn't make it legal. There needs to be some give as how many thousands of people use these racks. I can see if i get one since when I fold my rack up when not in use it blocks the plate but different story when the bikes are one. I think a ticket for blocked tail lights would have been more the issue since it could cause an accident. Just can't win with anything can we. No more biking no more nothing just hand your pay cheque over to the government since that's what it seems to be coming to. No more fun no more life just work and pay. What a frustrating world we live in.

  35. #35
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    I saw a car with two bikes behind it get pulled over on the 407 on Sunday morning and I was wondering if the blocked plate on the 407 was the culprit. I carried on, fingers crossed, hoping that me and my blocked plate wouldn't be hassled.

    Like Oggie, I drive around 8 or more months of the year with the rack attached, blocking the plate when in the up position, and blocking the plate with bike(s) when in use. I have never been hassled and would hope that my luck continues. I do understand that I'm not in compliance of the HTA, but as long as I'm not doing anything else to warrant the attention, please leave me alone.

    The other option would be to clearly regulate these carriers (like they have in the EU) and require homologation for every carrier that you hang behind you. These carriers all have supplementary taillights and license plate mounts. As an example, see Thule's selection in Europe...;

    http://www2.thule.com/Thule/ProductL...____83171.aspx
    Jouko

  36. #36
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    I read this thread on Sunday morning.....Sunday afternoon I saw a car pulled over on the 401 with 2 bike on a hitch mount rack......

    I am looking at getting a hitch mount rack. I emailed the mto asking what they suggest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jouko
    I saw a car with two bikes behind it get pulled over on the 407 on Sunday morning and I was wondering if the blocked plate on the 407 was the culprit. I carried on, fingers crossed, hoping that me and my blocked plate wouldn't be hassled.

    Like Oggie, I drive around 8 or more months of the year with the rack attached, blocking the plate when in the up position, and blocking the plate with bike(s) when in use. I have never been hassled and would hope that my luck continues. I do understand that I'm not in compliance of the HTA, but as long as I'm not doing anything else to warrant the attention, please leave me alone.

    The other option would be to clearly regulate these carriers (like they have in the EU) and require homologation for every carrier that you hang behind you. These carriers all have supplementary taillights and license plate mounts. As an example, see Thule's selection in Europe...;

    http://www2.thule.com/Thule/ProductL...____83171.aspx
    Now that is what I am talking about. If after many years of hitch racks which all obstruct the plate in one way or another is now a problem for our police and government then they should allow a solution like the European racks.
    I also think the problem here is that there are way more bikes and racks on cars now than ever before. I see all kinds of accessories on cars now that did not seem as prevalent years ago.
    If the racks are basically illegal then they should not be sold as is. Radar detector = illegal and they aren't sold here.
    First it would take the MTO to be able to issue identical number plates to be mounted on the rack. Then the manufacturers could provide a solution to fit the problem.

  38. #38
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    Very interesting thread...I use a hitch-mounted rack and the license plate is definitely obscured when the bikes are on it but when I'm not carrying the bikes I just leave the arms down, figure it leaves my plate visible and shouldn't add significant drag (i'm using the swagman xtc-2 rack)
    ride, eat, sleep, repeat

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    Gee I guess the cops could sit outside Albion Hills when everybody is arriving and leaving the SS race and get a pocket full of money. Or any other event for that matter.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainKat
    It would be great to have a way to make it legal.
    This really is a case of writing a ticket for the sake of writing a ticket. He could have also wrote a ticket for speeding or not having a clear view of the taillights. I guess it was just license plate day.
    In the end I guess I was thinking that the bike rack was an allowable obscurement like my trailer is and that in this situation the front plate would suffice.

    Here is what the rack looks like with two bikes on it. With only my bike on it you can see the four letters on the plate but not the numbers. Also, when the rack is empty and folded up it also blocks the view of the plate.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    So basically to make it legal I need to move the plate to the location between the bikes wheels.

    Thanks for the apology AndrewTO, and it is okay as I understand this is the internet and people's thoughts and feeling sometimes come across to others differently than what was intended. I don't mean to complain, I just want to know what the solution is, so I can continue to transport bikes without racking up fines.
    I'm kinda stumped. Nevermind the plates, you can barely see the brake lights in that picture. One could make a little bracket for the plate, even put it on an indexable hinge to keep it locked into place ..... but those brake lights on the other hand ..... might be able to do the same thing, but do you really want that much work done to the car for this?


    If yes - indexable hinge for an additional piece to hang off the back/bottom of the rack. This piece would hold the license plate, and necessary lighting, as well as the brake lights/turn signals. Think something along the lines of a trailer wiring/extension set up. It would be indexable so this extra piece would be visible whether it's down with bike(s) loaded, or up when not in use. It wouldn't exactly look stock, to say the least, but it should be legal. Since that's a hitch mounted unit you'd want to be sure you have it locked to the hitch (can't tell if you already have a lock on there or not).

    Best suggestion I have if you wanted to go that route.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmstrek8
    Gee I guess the cops could sit outside Albion Hills when everybody is arriving and leaving the SS race and get a pocket full of money. Or any other event for that matter.
    They wouldn't even have to go that far if they REALLY wanted to start following the letter of the law. I'm sure there are a laaaarrrrge number of people that commit their first traffic infraction upon arriving at their first Stop sign/traffic light/right turn on their way to work every day.

    Agreed with this being a frustrating situation (and world).
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  42. #42
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    I saw the words "to serve and protect" somewhere on here and that kind of shows the misunderstanding associated with this.
    Traffic enforcement has never had anything to do serving or protecting. It's merely a means of revenue generation for the jurisdiction. It is that exact reason that the "laws" are left so vague, so they encompass a wide range of circumstances, all of which will offer revenue to the region.
    The only reason you got nicked is because of the holiday weekend "blitz" which, personally, is a whole load of BS. MTO officers do NOT have either 310S (light duty ie; cars) or 310T (heavy duty ie; highway tractors) licenses when they're hired by the province (been through the process - they right out told me the reason I was NOT hired was because I already had both licenses) but they're given open book CFQ (certificate of qualification) tests after they're hired. So between them and the police (also with no formal automotive/transportation training) they really have no clue and that's part of the reason you'll never get a straight answer out of them.
    The other reason of course being the "he said, she said" phenomenon. An officer will never put his arse on the line by saying "you can fix it this way" only for you to pulled over later by another one saying "there's a problem with this...." etc.

    Just a IMHO note: I would avoid "hinging" the license plates in any way, lest you're pulled over daily for an inspection to see if your hinge is attached to a dummy plate for running red light cameras, highway tolls, etc. And the kicker is, if the cop wanted to really be a d!ck about it , he could 'hold' your car while he summons an MTO officer for an inspection, which could take who knows how long for that to happen - and if I'm correct (which has happened once before) if no MTO officer is available immediately, he is legally allowed to impound the car until such inspection can be conducted.
    I realize I'm not offering any help here, but I hope I might save further frustration from "fixes" that don't ultimately help.

  43. #43
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    Where about where you ticketed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigwheelboy_490
    Where about where you ticketed?
    It was on the 407. I have a transponder, so it's not like I was getting away with anything.
    I did say to the officer that if it was a problem with the 407 that I would stop using that highway. He said it was all highways, so it did not make a difference.

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    Very interesting thread! I just invested in a hitch and hitch-mount bike rack this spring precisely for the convenience and perceived better respect for the law. I happen to have the same vehicle as the OP and my plate and lights are just as obscured, I've been lucky so far. I've had the thoughts about the 407 but I also assumed I'd be okay since I use a transponder and would not be avoiding tolls.

    Not sure what to do in the short term, but given there are solutions in other parts of the world I too will take the time to write my MPP to hopefully raise awareness.

  46. #46
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    I'm keeping my rack on my hitch. Better fuel consumption than on top (which sucks gas even without bikes), and I'll take the risks associated with my plate being covered up. Police should have more important things to go after people for like the 100 other morons I encounter on a daily basis pulling the same ******** moves over and over.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by nspace
    Police should have more important things to go after people for like the 100 other morons I encounter on a daily basis pulling the same ******** moves over and over.
    Wow, angry Tom is angry! Daily commute to Bolton got you down?
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  48. #48
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    Thule europe...

    has racks that have plate holders and tail light on them already.
    they should just sell them like this here


    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTO
    I'm kinda stumped. Nevermind the plates, you can barely see the brake lights in that picture. One could make a little bracket for the plate, even put it on an indexable hinge to keep it locked into place ..... but those brake lights on the other hand ..... might be able to do the same thing, but do you really want that much work done to the car for this?


    If yes - indexable hinge for an additional piece to hang off the back/bottom of the rack. This piece would hold the license plate, and necessary lighting, as well as the brake lights/turn signals. Think something along the lines of a trailer wiring/extension set up. It would be indexable so this extra piece would be visible whether it's down with bike(s) loaded, or up when not in use. It wouldn't exactly look stock, to say the least, but it should be legal. Since that's a hitch mounted unit you'd want to be sure you have it locked to the hitch (can't tell if you already have a lock on there or not).

    Best suggestion I have if you wanted to go that route.

  49. #49
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    Gm

    GM dealers sell a license plate holder that will mount to the hitch carrier. This holder should work with Thule bike carriers. The GM part number is 12495709.

    That Bike carrier that Thule makes... is called the EuroWay

  50. #50
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    just bolt the top holes of the license plate to the bottom bolts of the licence plate area on the car and that should put the plate below the bikes and make it visible. if you can, of course. i think all cars should have bumper license plates instead of on the trunk to avoid this problem.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainKat
    It was on the 407. I have a transponder, so it's not like I was getting away with anything.
    I did say to the officer that if it was a problem with the 407 that I would stop using that highway. He said it was all highways, so it did not make a difference.
    that's pretty impressive. I've never seen a police car on the 407 at all for the last 2 years I've been using it! WHERE ON THE 407 WERE YOU?

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTO
    They wouldn't even have to go that far if they REALLY wanted to start following the letter of the law. I'm sure there are a laaaarrrrge number of people that commit their first traffic infraction upon arriving at their first Stop sign/traffic light/right turn on their way to work every day.

    Agreed with this being a frustrating situation (and world).
    Heck if they really wanted to get strict about it, any cop could just walk down your average toronto suburaban street and ticket EVERY CAR IN ITS OWN DRIVEWAY. In Toronto there is a bylaw that makes it illegal to park within 15 meters of the centerline of the road! that means for most of us, technically it's illegal to park in our own driveways!!!

    gotta love the nanny state!

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by was98strat
    In Toronto there is a bylaw that makes it illegal to park within 15 meters of the centerline of the road! that means for most of us, technically it's illegal to park in our own driveways!!!

    gotta love the nanny state!

    Uh, doesn't that only relate to on-street parking, and begin with a "unless otherwise stated" for signed parking permissions? Regardless, the Zoning By-law supercedes the parking bylaw for off-street parking so it is not technically illegal to park in your own driveway, unless of course you are contradicting the zoning bylaw.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by was98strat
    that's pretty impressive. I've never seen a police car on the 407 at all for the last 2 years I've been using it! WHERE ON THE 407 WERE YOU?
    then they are doing their job correctly. they are hiding.

  55. #55
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    I see police on the 407 daily...usually in the same spots too

  56. #56
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    This thread has me wondering about my own rack.

    That came out wrong.

    With one bike, the plate isn't too concealed, but with two bikes, it could take a long look for anyone to read my plate, but this is also the case with rusted or damaged or otherwise obstructed plates. Hell, if you're towing a trailer, there is a plate on the trailer, but your vehicle plate may be damn near impossible to find.

    Mostly, I just think this is a cash grab, or perhaps a lesser fine for an officer to choose (with no insurance rate implications, I assume) instead of, say, a speeding charge.

  57. #57
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    Lurker from the States here:
    Have been following this thread for some time, and FWIW, based on our laws down South, I think the focus of this thread has been far too single minded (would be surprised if your laws up north differ so greatly from ours...) Had I been driving in the car shown by the OP, I would be happy to get just an obstructed license plate ticket. More importantly (in terms of general safety) would expect to be cited for:
    - Obstructed tail lights
    - Obstructed brake lights
    - Obstructed turn signals

    ....And, before you all tell me I'm an idiot doode from the states that has no idea what I'm talking about, I spend a fair bit of time in the GTA and fully understand the 407 toll system
    Cheers,
    WB
    Last edited by wbmason55; 05-30-2010 at 02:35 PM.

  58. #58
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    I am also wondering if there was speeding involved here and the officer issued lesser charge ticket... I stated my feelings pretty clearly against this ticket, but can't recall if our Kat said the speed might have been a bit over???

    Yank doode - we are a pretty mellow bunch here... Unless our name ends in sprocket, we don't call people idiots for speaking their mind... Welcome to Cannuckistan MTB board that happily talks about road bikes as well.

    Did you ride any of the Ontario trails yet?

  59. #59
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    GM dealers sell a license plate holder that will mount to the hitch carrier. This holder should work with Thule bike carriers. The GM part number is 12495709.

    That Bike carrier that Thule makes... is called the EuroWay

  60. #60
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    I saw a Waterloo regional police car with a hitch mounted rack. The plate was obscured and no extra signal lighting was installed. The police had their patrol bikes on the car. I do think the issue needs to be addressed, but I don't think the police or MTO are going to pushing for more clarity. They love uncertainty, everyone speeds including them but it is selectively enforced. It doesn't make it right, but I do think they should have justify why they charged one individual for something that thousands of people do openly without on police interference. If police witness someone rob a convenience store they should be obligated to intervene and arrest/charge the robbers. Maybe the police should be held accountable for not charging everyone they witness speeding. If they were implicated in not enforcing the law while clearly witness an offence, maybe they would lobby for more realistic laws. It would be hell for every motorist for a while but in the end I think we would end up with a good set of laws.

    I think fighting any ticket is justified regardless of the level of guilt. The burden is on them to prove guilt in court. It happens way to often that a law is created because of specific reason, and then gets applied out of context. The intent of the law should be much clearer. Sometimes I think the police want a scenario where everyone is breaking a law regardless of how trivial because it gives universal power to arrest or detain anyone at any point. Unfortunately we doing it to ourselves, since we live in a democratic country.

    Fighting the ticket IMHO is the civilians equivalent to voting on the law. Police are less likely to charge people with offences that will likely end up in court, they want their initial charges to stick without resistance.

    It seems to be a function of a free, prosperous democratic society to eventually completely overburden itself with rules and regulations. If life is more difficult for society as a whole then the focus might shift back to things that actually matter?

    //END OF RANT
    Last edited by joshdurston; 06-01-2010 at 06:50 PM.

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    wait a minute. I have been using the bike rack for years without any problem.

    I never been stopped by the police. I don't understand the reason of the officer who pull you over.

  62. #62
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    Got $110 ticket this evening for the "obstruct plate" on Eglinton Ave. I've had the same Thule hitch rack for 3+yrs and never had a problem. Officer told me to go to court with a photo 'time stamped' tomorrow taken of my rear license plate to show that I had removed the bike rack and he would 'help me out'. What a waste of my time and everyone's tax $$.

  63. #63
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    I am driving with my hitch rack "down" position even when I dont transport bikes.. I am waiting for my turn to be ticketed... How to keep supporting and respecting our cops when they issue such moronic tickets... sigh...

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    *shrug* laws are what they are.
    arguing their lack of logic makes them no less enforceable, solutions?
    I'm digging the idea of the plate that swings past the bike rack, but if jury-rigged could you use it? i don't think a judge would throw out "it's safer and you get my plate number as opposed to the alternative..."

    then call your mpp and get the laws changed.
    there're few mpp's in the province that wouldn't gladly jump onto "this law needs revision, could be your flagship piece..."

    signed: your friendly neighbourhood moutnain-cyclo-commuting-public-servant.
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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jouko
    I saw a car with two bikes behind it get pulled over on the 407 on Sunday morning and I was wondering if the blocked plate on the 407 was the culprit.
    I wonder what would happen if you had a transponder? Would the cop let you go or be a prick and ticket you for the blocked plate?
    Rider Up,

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  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by McB
    I wonder what would happen if you had a transponder? Would the cop let you go or be a prick and ticket you for the blocked plate?
    I had a transponder and he still ticketed me.

    Even though I said I was speeding in an earlier post, this is not a case of getting a lesser ticket. Although, I was going 10 km/h over the limit, however I was also the slowest car on the 407 that day, so speed could not be an issue at all. I was just pointing out that he could have been a bigger prick and ticketed me for speeding too.

    I also don't think the brake/signal lights were an issue, as he probably would have mentioned it. I did signal and brake when pulling over, so he must have seen them.

  67. #67
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    I got pulled over on the 407 on the way home from TNR a while back... Officer asked if I had a transponder, "no" I said. Then he proceeded to tell me that my plate was partially blocked by my bike (on hitch mount rack), and that he could give me a ticket. Instead he said that I needed to get off at the next exit, and no ticket.

    He implied that the solution was to get a transponder, which I plan to do. He said nothing about it being an issue in general and on all roads.

    Consistently inconsistent...

  68. #68
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    I followed this guy this morning on the QEW and exited in Oakville behind him. He was driving Chrysler mini-van from the "Summons" department. Not sure why they need bikes to serve summons, but obviously Halton Police are exempt from the HTA.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ontario - Obstruct license plate-untitled.jpg  

    It's only pain......

  69. #69
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    So... was that pic taken via a hand held type phone device?

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    I believe this would be a good time to use your rights as defined by Section 11C and Section 13 of the Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms.

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    iPhone using a remote control device (because using a phone or PDA whilst driving in Ontario is against the law) :-)
    It's only pain......

  72. #72
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    Thanks for posting that - actually not bad evidence to use on the argument of ambiguity if someone gets charged and wants to fight it in court.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by MountainKat View Post
    It was on the 407. I have a transponder, so it's not like I was getting away with anything.
    I did say to the officer that if it was a problem with the 407 that I would stop using that highway. He said it was all highways, so it did not make a difference.
    I think it's more of a problem on the 407. As a snowmobiler over the years I've heard of guys getting nailed on the 407 for the same thing when hauling a snowmobile in a pickup w/ the tailgate down. The plate is obscured from the cameras.

    X2 on the "safe securement of a load" comments as well. The MTO won't say what the regs are for tying down a snowmobile or motorcycle in a truck or trailer, but will write you up if they think your situation isn't safe.
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    Upset

    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    fight it. I got ticket for having a clear cover over my license plate. Had to take it off, but was let go by the judge after he explained me that all covers are illegal. I have the hitch mount rack and never ever had an issue with it...
    If they went back to the old method of painting the licence plates after stamping rather than the crappy film that is stretched thin when the plate is stamped (resulting in a peeling plate after 3 visits to a car wash), people wouldn't need CLEAR covers to protect their plates.

    End of rant
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  75. #75
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    I got one last October o the 407, I fought it. The judge said I did a great job defending myself but according to he laws the pictures showed that the plate was technically blocked. The judge said that she had never had a case before like this and afterreading the law she said that technically ever her own liscence plate was illegal since she had a cover around it. She said evenmy cover "I'd rather be Cycling" on the back plate was illegal. Since I told her that I have since bought a roof rack the crown was happy and left the charge amount up to her, she let me go without paying a penny. Just an afternoon off work unpaid.

    It's bs since the cop said in court it had nothing to do with itbeing on the 407 and it is just a matter of safety, but I have never heard of anyone getting a ticket for this on any other highway.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trev View Post
    I got one last October o the 407, I fought it. The judge said I did a great job defending myself but according to he laws the pictures showed that the plate was technically blocked. The judge said that she had never had a case before like this and afterreading the law she said that technically ever her own liscence plate was illegal since she had a cover around it. She said evenmy cover "I'd rather be Cycling" on the back plate was illegal. Since I told her that I have since bought a roof rack the crown was happy and left the charge amount up to her, she let me go without paying a penny. Just an afternoon off work unpaid.

    It's bs since the cop said in court it had nothing to do with itbeing on the 407 and it is just a matter of safety, but I have never heard of anyone getting a ticket for this on any other highway.
    (emphasis added)

    "Technically" is also known as a literal interpretation of the legislation. However, there are numerous examples at all levels of court where a 'literal' interpretation is a poor approach; rather, one needs to assess the intent of the legislation and whether a particular case has infringed on the intent that legislation.

  77. #77
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    Finally after 18 years of hauling bike on racks hanging off the back of vehicles I finally got hassled for obstructed plate a couple weeks back. Got a warning at a spot check from a crusty small town cop.

    Cop was a bit of a jerk, said he'd give me a ticket if he ever saw me in that town again if the plate was still obstructed. He had a tone that made him come off like a prick.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trev View Post
    I got one last October o the 407, I fought it. The judge said I did a great job defending myself but according to he laws the pictures showed that the plate was technically blocked. The judge said that she had never had a case before like this and afterreading the law she said that technically ever her own liscence plate was illegal since she had a cover around it. She said evenmy cover "I'd rather be Cycling" on the back plate was illegal. Since I told her that I have since bought a roof rack the crown was happy and left the charge amount up to her, she let me go without paying a penny. Just an afternoon off work unpaid.

    It's bs since the cop said in court it had nothing to do with itbeing on the 407 and it is just a matter of safety, but I have never heard of anyone getting a ticket for this on any other highway.
    Cool... yeah even those covers are illegal and one of those things a curious cop will use to stop you and see what happens.

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    I just got a ticket yesterday from Toronto Police driving in Scarborough. It was an unmarked cruiser who stopped me. I wasn't carrying any bikes at the time, and the Thule T2 rack was in the stowed position. Of course, I got the famous Obstruct Plate ticket. Since I couldn't find my insurance slip at the time, I got a ticket for that too. I emailed proof to the officer later that afternoon when I got home. I am insured. At the roadside, I removed the rack even before the officer could hand me the ticket. I've seen Toronto Parking Enforcement vehicles with their bike racks strapped to the backside with a bike on it which obscures the plate. Any suggestions in fighting these tickets?

  80. #80
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    IMO see my post #76. Take photos of your rack in its stowed position from where a driver in a vehicle would be behind your car in at least the left lane, directly behind, and right lane. How bad does it look? It might not help to seek a free consultation from a paralegal like X-Copper as well. If you do please post up!

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by phybersplice View Post
    I just got a ticket yesterday from Toronto Police driving in Scarborough. It was an unmarked cruiser who stopped me. I wasn't carrying any bikes at the time, and the Thule T2 rack was in the stowed position. Of course, I got the famous Obstruct Plate ticket. Since I couldn't find my insurance slip at the time, I got a ticket for that too. I emailed proof to the officer later that afternoon when I got home. I am insured. At the roadside, I removed the rack even before the officer could hand me the ticket. I've seen Toronto Parking Enforcement vehicles with their bike racks strapped to the backside with a bike on it which obscures the plate. Any suggestions in fighting these tickets?
    Sorry to hear that. I have identical rack and I drive around with it in open (unstowed) position just to avoid this crap.

    There is a pic of the police car with the rack on the back, obstructing the license plate. Find it and take it to the judge.

    How do cops expect us to support them if they are doing this??? It is so disappointing.
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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post

    How do cops expect us to support them if they are doing this??? It is so disappointing.


    You have to be kidding right? Yes, let us all blame the cops for doing their job, one of those being catching those of us in violation of the laws that exist. All the cop did was really charge you with an offense.

    Now you have two simple choices,

    A. Pay the fine and stop whining.

    B. Exercise your right to go to court and challenge the charge. And allow the judge to look at the info and make a final decision.

    Pick one.

    Man we Canadians are dumb. We whine that the cops did to much then they didn't do enough.

  83. #83
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    nope. not kidding. just dislike hypocrisy...

    and yes, this is BS.

    it is not the INTENT OF THE LEGISLATION to penalize this kind of use of the bike rack.



    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post


    You have to be kidding right? Yes, let us all blame the cops for doing their job, one of those being catching those of us in violation of the laws that exist. All the cop did was really charge you with an offense.

    Now you have two simple choices,

    A. Pay the fine and stop whining.

    B. Exercise your right to go to court and challenge the charge. And allow the judge to look at the info and make a final decision.

    Pick one.

    Man we Canadians are dumb. We whine that the cops did to much then they didn't do enough.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Ontario - Obstruct license plate-untitled.jpg  


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    I might point out it's also illegal to use a camera while in care and control of a motor vehicle, whether moving or stopped at a light.

    On the other hand, that IS a Halton vehicle so I'll let it go

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyrblade View Post
    I might point out it's also illegal to use a camera while in care and control of a motor vehicle, whether moving or stopped at a light.

    On the other hand, that IS a Halton vehicle so I'll let it go
    Are you a cop?
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  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo View Post
    Are you a cop?
    No but I am one on my world.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enduramil View Post
    No but I am one on my world.
    I can't wait for your wife to return. Too much testosterone invaded your gray matter.

    Not good.
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  88. #88
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    I was pulled over on the way to work this morning and got a warning re my Yakima Holdup blocking my plate. Tim's must have been out of his favourite donut
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    Ontario - Obstruct license plate

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog View Post
    I was pulled over on the way to work this morning and got a warning re my Yakima Holdup blocking my plate. Tim's must have been out of his favourite donut

    Whaaaa? I guess boys in blue are no small hypocrites???

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    maybe they gave him the dark roast by mistake!
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  91. #91
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    I'm thinking John McGinley from Wild Hogs

    Wild Hogs (2007)

    Highway Patrolman: 4 counts of indecent exposure... 2 counts of lewd, lascivious behavior, and one count - pure jealousy

  92. #92
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    A friend of mine with the same rack (actually her rack is much nicer than mine, but that's beside the point here) was pulled over for speeding and that cop told her one would only get stopped for this if the cop was having a bad day...hence my donut comment above lol!
    To the cop's credit..he did just give a warning, no ticket
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  93. #93
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    so the problem with my Yakima Holdup is in the folded up position, it blocks the plate. I could drive around with it in the down position I suppose? I would look like a dork but that's no different than any other day!
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  94. #94
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    I was pulled over by a Peel officer last year regarding my Thule rack. She asked me what I could do to solve the problem and I simply lowered it into the unstowed position. She thanked me, I thanked her and we went on with our day.

    Fact is, I still drive with it up because I believe it's a hazard when it's down and if I get pulled over again, I'll try a little charm and apology to see if I'll have the same luck.

  95. #95
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    [QUOTE=Fyrblade;11476820]I was pulled over by a Peel officer last year regarding my Thule rack. She asked me what I could do to solve the problem and I simply lowered it into the unstowed position. She thanked me, I thanked her and we went on with our day.QUOTE]

    Funny, because these are instances where there aren't even any bikes on the rack.
    When I put 4 bikes, let alone 1 bike, you definitely can't see the plate.

    I've never been stopped, but now I just jinxed myself.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thatshowiroll View Post
    Funny, because these are instances where there aren't even any bikes on the rack.
    When I put 4 bikes, let alone 1 bike, you definitely can't see the plate.
    When I put bikes on my rack (Saris Bones 3) I obstruct not only the license plate but also the rear brake light. The latter make me a little nervous since people love drafting on the 400/401 etc.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedumbopinion View Post
    When I put bikes on my rack (Saris Bones 3) I obstruct not only the license plate but also the rear brake light. The latter make me a little nervous since people love drafting on the 400/401 etc.
    That's the interesting thing, they don't seem to care if there are bikes on the rack and the plate is obstructed. Only if the rack is empty and in the stowed position. The cop mentality is that you should install and remove the rack for each time you want to use it. Which for a Yakima Holdup is a big PITA. I went 2 seasons almost without being pulled over, can probably do the same again. My friend has the same bike rack for at least 4 yrs and has never been stopped. Another friend same area was pulled over for same infraction last summer AND ticketed..no warning!
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  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog View Post
    That's the interesting thing, they don't seem to care if there are bikes on the rack and the plate is obstructed. Only if the rack is empty and in the stowed position.
    I am fortunate that my double tray rack in the stowed position still gives clear view of my license plate on my vehicle, which is a typical sedan. I haven't looked closely enough to understand whether this is due to my particular choice of rack (1 Up USA Quik Rack), or if the mounting position on my car is slightly higher than most, or a combination of both.
    Nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure.

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    When it comes to infractions like this, its 99% attitude that'll get you off. It'll never be 100% because some cops just don't care. You're breaking the law and that's that.

  100. #100
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    I wonder if you made a quality photo of your plate, laminated it, and mounted it to the back of the rack in its stowed position would the cops be happy?
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  101. #101
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    There's likely a charge for that too. I would think along the lines of a magnetic mount that allows you to move the real plate without tools or similar.

    All the bike racks sold in Europe have provisions for plate relocation...
    Todd :thumbsup:

  102. #102
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    HTA requires the plate to be on the vehicle. Trailers can have their own plates. There is no provision for affixing a copy of your plate to your bike rack or anything other than the vehicle. So if you are obstructing your plate the charge still stands since there is no allowance for a copy of the plate to not be ON the vehicle.

  103. #103
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    We've had a Thule T2 mounted to the back of the Touareg for most of the last few years, but have never received even as much as a warning. About a month ago, while driving the Westfalia (with a T2 rack blocking the plate), an officer opened his window while beside me at a traffic light. He asked me if I was about to be moving bikes or if the rack would be coming off soon. I told him I was going to take it off while not transporting bikes if I didn't come up with a better solution.

    The darn think is heavy and I don't want to keep pulling it off and storing it somewhere when not in use. Yet the government won't issue a third plate for a rack, yet they will for a trailer. I wrote a nice letter to my MPP and received a nice reply from him, but as he does not represent the party chosen by the masses, he referred my letter to the Honourable Minister of Bicycle Racks. The minister's reply below:

    Ontario - Obstruct license plate-img_7848.jpg

    To me, that letter represents a typical politician response. Apparently there are "multiple ways to attach a plate to the rear of the vehicle without violating the regulatory rules". Sure, whatever. So, in an effort to try my hardest, I've relocated the plate, but by doing so, I currently have no licence plate lighting in the rear. I'm sure that will be my next warning...

    Ontario - Obstruct license plate-img_7847.jpg
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  104. #104
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    I wonder how often a bike rack has actually impaired an officers ability to collect licence plate info? I find that too often, people make every effort to be difficult, because they can. Sure its harder to see the plate, but it's still there, if you look you will find it. If you put your lights on to stop me, I'll gladly stop and share my info with you.

    Bullies come in all forms in society.
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  105. #105
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    While realistic that reasoning is no good. The way the law is written, the onus is on the operator of the motor vehicle to ensure an unobstructed license, full stop. There are no conditions such as to the best of your ability or 'reasonably' unobstructed. It is to be fully unobstructed. That is the test.

  106. #106
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    you are required to have a light to display your plate so you could get ticket for having your plate visible but not lit. (at night).
    We are all victims of and benefit from the obscure law that is only sometimes enforced.
    I have a problem with tinted windows and when a car approaches from my right, I really want to see eye-to-eye if the driver sees me or not. The law restricts tinting on the windshield and front two door windows but I guess some people here would be pi$$ed if a cop pulled them over and gave them a ticket for having the driver window too dark for me to see through.

  107. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jouko View Post
    So, in an effort to try my hardest, I've relocated the plate, but by doing so, I currently have no licence plate lighting in the rear. I'm sure that will be my next warning...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    If you ride at night and have a set of bike lights, strap one on to your rack, turn it on to low and shine it on to your plate. Problem solve!

    Just remember to remove it when you park or it may not be there when you get back.
    "By Your Command"

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    Anyone get harassed with having the bike on the rack? I ride with mostly one bike. Plate is blocked. So is it law to have lights near the plate? If I put two bikes on and totally obstruct the plate can I just attach it to my hitch or bikes? Maybe we need to contact some MPPs

    Also whats the law with obstructing parts of the brake lights. Do I need to give hand signals everytime a cop is behind me?

    Hand signals should be enough for brake lights right? I don't get how some people get tickets for burnt out brake light when you only need one light by the law? Plus they say if you don't have a brake light working you can use a hand signal? Confusing.

  109. #109
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    I've been using a Thule Vertex for five years with zero issues with the police. 407 is a different story lol.

    This unit partially blocks the plate even when no bikes are mounted. I drive all over the gta and just got back from a two week road trip out to Arizona and back. Again, no issues with the police.
    ..now just tinker with our bikes and feed the cats. - oldbear52

  110. #110
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    Last year I fought a ticket and won by bringing in a copy of my 407 bill, pluse an image of one of the local law enforcement groups using a bike rack without bikes and blocking the license plate.
    MTBR is serious stuff.
    You never get better until you get out of your comfort zone.

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    Just noticed in my area this week, many many pickups, they either have a slide in the box sander unit, or in a couple cases a hitch mounted hopper unit for sand and a spreader. Both units had lic plate not in designed spot on the bumper, but had it remounted on box unit or hitch mounted hopper, ( with a lic light threw hitch wiring) . Both removable , either strapped in box, or a hitch like my bike rack, that is bolted into hitch. Why can't it be legal then to mount a plate and light on a hitch mounted bike rack with a light so it's not obstructed?

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    Quote Originally Posted by herder View Post
    Anyone get harassed with having the bike on the rack? I ride with mostly one bike. Plate is blocked. So is it law to have lights near the plate? If I put two bikes on and totally obstruct the plate can I just attach it to my hitch or bikes? Maybe we need to contact some MPPs

    Also whats the law with obstructing parts of the brake lights. Do I need to give hand signals everytime a cop is behind me?

    Hand signals should be enough for brake lights right? I don't get how some people get tickets for burnt out brake light when you only need one light by the law? Plus they say if you don't have a brake light working you can use a hand signal? Confusing.
    I am not from Ontario, but I think a lot of the mv laws apply. All lights that are mounted or on a vehicle must work. So a burnt out brake or signal light is a ticket. If you use hand signals you may get out of a failure to signal ticket. On a old vehicle that didn't come with 2 lights I think you are supposed to wear a orange glove at night. But really just make sure your lights work and if you play a little stupid and are polite your chances of only getting a warning go up.
    On a recent trip to Arizona I got pulled over for a obstructed plate in Colorado. (T2 with 2 bikes) After a brief conversation I told the officer that when we stopped I would break the bikes down and put them in the back. I got a verbal warning only. I really think he only used it as a excuse to pull us over, being from B.C. he wanted to check us for Weed.
    Next trip I am going to buy a light bar from Amazon to go an the rack. I am not concerned about my plate but if a drunken good old boy rear ends me it would ruin a holiday.

  113. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by washagorider View Post
    Why can't it be legal then to mount a plate and light on a hitch mounted bike rack with a light so it's not obstructed?
    Because the law says it must be on the vehicle. It'd be really nitpicky for an officer to issue a ticket with your license on the rack even with a working light. But technically its not on the vehicle.

  114. #114
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    Looks like they're still at it. Driving 100-110 in the slow lane and....
    Ontario - Obstruct license plate-20170523_074748.resized.jpg
    Got a ticket this morning with the rack on the car. Told the officer I could remove it, but still got a ticket. And as far as I'm concerned, you can still read my plate.
    Ontario - Obstruct license plate-lic2.resized.rotated.jpg

  115. #115
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    I believe Norm Millar, MPP for Muskoka has put forward a bill to strike this law from the books as it pertains to bike racks. Hopefully it gets approved. There was an article about this in the local Muskoka papers a few weeks back.
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    It must be slow days for those police or something. I generally put my bike rack on the car in March/April and it doesn't come off until November/December. Never once have been pulled over for it.

    ....knock on wood.

  117. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbs View Post
    Looks like they're still at it. Driving 100-110 in the slow lane and....
    Got a ticket this morning with the rack on the car. Told the officer I could remove it, but still got a ticket. And as far as I'm concerned, you can still read my plate.
    Was it on the 407?

  118. #118
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    Yes. Where else would you get one of these tickets ? Officer's first question was "Do you have a transponder?" And yes, I do.
    Last edited by rbs; 05-23-2017 at 07:50 PM.

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    Fight it, all the way. It's belligerent to go after someone like this. Misuse of authority.
    Todd :thumbsup:

  120. #120
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    I will be fighting it. Nice to know were moving in the right direction with legislative change. I'd be fine with putting a plate on the rack but there are simply no legal options available right now.

  121. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog View Post
    I believe Norm Millar, MPP for Muskoka has put forward a bill to strike this law from the books as it pertains to bike racks. Hopefully it gets approved. There was an article about this in the local Muskoka papers a few weeks back.
    Thanks for the info. Found the link http://www.myparrysoundnow.com/16300...ified-ontario/

    Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

  122. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbs View Post
    looks like they're still at it. Driving 100-110 in the slow lane and....
    Click image for larger version. 

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    got a ticket this morning with the rack on the car. Told the officer i could remove it, but still got a ticket. And as far as i'm concerned, you can still read my plate.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    tps?
    Ontario - Obstruct license plate-img_7380.jpg
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  123. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg_o View Post
    tps?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    407 is patrolled by the OPP.

    Whoops - just got it :-) I was sitting in front of the cruiser wondering why the company branding was still on the push bar on the front of the car. Does the OPP get a discount for advertising the product? Like the way you get BENCH clothes cheaper for advertising them? Oh wait....

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    I always wonder how the snow removal companies get away all winter putting sander boxes in back of pick up trucks. Have taken dozens of pictures of that in Muskoka . (remove tail gate) spreader unit hangs out and down back covering - Totally obstructing license plate on rear bumper. Some guys bungee license plate up higher but still no light. Most don't! It not a permenantly attached item to truck just strapped in. My rack is actually thread bolted to hitch to frame. . I like Australia and extra bike rack plate!

  125. #125
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    I wonder how a cop sleeps at night when I see this crap. Ontario driver ticketed 3 times for licence plate covers - Toronto - CBC News Thankfully the cop that would do this has to be in a very small number or we would hear about it more often. Still, when it is you, it makes you wonder what it takes to be a cop.

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    It's not about right vs wrong, it's about power. There is no bigger rush for a human, than having power over others. For a Police officer, exercising the power over the public, no matter how trivial or insignificant, is still a win. As a lawbreaking bike rack user or license plate protector, you make yourself a target for those officers with a need to flex muscle.

    This will carry on until the Unions (& Union supportive governments) who control the majority of the working world become outdated relics...
    Todd :thumbsup:

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    Quote Originally Posted by ol-crank View Post
    I wonder how a cop sleeps at night when I see this crap. Ontario driver ticketed 3 times for licence plate covers - Toronto - CBC News Thankfully the cop that would do this has to be in a very small number or we would hear about it more often. Still, when it is you, it makes you wonder what it takes to be a cop.
    That is crap. Ontario plates do not withstand the abuse they take without a cover. The number on my wife's front plate are peeling off so bad that I had to put a cover on it to hold it together so it could be read. Incidentally, the cover I put on was 100% clear; the one in the article is tinted. I wonder if that contributed to the ticket.

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    Quote Originally Posted by -Todd- View Post
    It's not about right vs wrong, it's about power. There is no bigger rush for a human, than having power over others. For a Police officer, exercising the power over the public, no matter how trivial or insignificant, is still a win. As a lawbreaking bike rack user or license plate protector, you make yourself a target for those officers with a need to flex muscle.

    This will carry on until the Unions (& Union supportive governments) who control the majority of the working world become outdated relics...
    You're making this about union busting?

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    I have the bubble/clear plate covers on my car. (F#ck da po-lice)
    The packaging clearly states to check your local laws regarding this issue.

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    I've been noticing this more and more,

    Quote Originally Posted by McGuillicuddy View Post
    That is crap. Ontario plates do not withstand the abuse they take without a cover. The number on my wife's front plate are peeling off so bad that I had to put a cover on it to hold it together so it could be read. Incidentally, the cover I put on was 100% clear; the one in the article is tinted. I wonder if that contributed to the ticket.
    the outer coating/layer is peeling exposing the bare metal underneath and I am surprised that MOT has not issued a recall. According to everything I had heard or read about the number plates, this is illegal because the plate is unreadable. I bet somewhere this has been discussed in MOT but no one has the sense to correct the problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McGuillicuddy View Post
    You're making this about union busting?
    The only reason johnny law has the stones to harass people with bike racks is the union muscle behind him... Politicians are influenced by the Union leaders & membership, the budgets to support are okayed, the harassing behaviour is supported.
    Todd :thumbsup:

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    Quote Originally Posted by ol-crank View Post
    the outer coating/layer is peeling exposing the bare metal underneath and I am surprised that MOT has not issued a recall. According to everything I had heard or read about the number plates, this is illegal because the plate is unreadable. I bet somewhere this has been discussed in MOT but no one has the sense to correct the problem.
    We dealt with this on one of our plates. The warranty covers delamination only to 5 years. Beyond this, it is the plate owner's responsibility and you have to get a new one from the MTO at your cost. Oh, and if you want to keep the same plate #, you have to pay the personalized plate premium.

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    How do they treat you guys over in Ontario when crossing back from Michigan? The border staff here in BC almost always ask for our plate number, politely. I have heard of a few issues in Washington State over this but they have yet to stop us for the rack covering it up.
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

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    Quote Originally Posted by unicrown junkie View Post
    How do they treat you guys over in Ontario when crossing back from Michigan? The border staff here in BC almost always ask for our plate number, politely. I have heard of a few issues in Washington State over this but they have yet to stop us for the rack covering it up.
    CBSA does not enforce provincial traffic statute. They as for your license plate for an entirely different reason.

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    I know that CBSA doesn't enforce that already, I was asking what their attitude is like in Ontario, that's all. Since I cross the line at least forty to fifty times a year I'm well aware of what's going with them.

    The CBSA deals with this rack issue the most due to the volume, I watch it over and over.
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

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