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No Issue Too Small To Get Attention from the State

Criminalizing everything:

License-plate frames that celebrate your favorite college or sports team become illegal next month if the frame obscures the state's name.

Starting Jan. 1, police can stop you if "Arizona" isn't clearly visible at the top of the plate. Violators will be fined an average of $135, plus court fees, depending on the city where the violation is discovered.

Wow, while the police are chasing after that guy with a joint, lets make sure we also have the boys in blue vigilant for this.  And I am sure this new law will be enforced as equally and fairly as all the others and these guys will be he first to get tickets:

On Tuesday, half the 26 vehicles in the Arizona Senate parking lot bore frames obscuring the word "Arizona."

Yeah, right.  This is just another "probably cause" for Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his boys to pull over every person with brown skin they run into.


Posted on December 10, 2008 at 08:30 AM | Permalink

Comments

Shame on you for selectively quoting an article that goes to lengths to explain why the law was passed just to take a shot at your favorite sheriff. Most law enforcement agencies no longer chase a car for non life or property threatening moving violations. The modern method is use the tag number to get the a home address, go there, and catch the guy when he comes home. If the tag is obscured by a fancy frame, getting the tag number is that much more difficult. A similar issue came up in Florida with the proliferation of specialty tags where police were literally having trouble determining if it was a Florida tag on a moving car.

Posted by: Charlie B | Dec 10, 2008 9:09:58 AM

But obviously you don't understand the the pigs are no longer in public protection but municipal finance. Been that way since Clinton put 150000 new servants of the public on the street.

Posted by: dr kill | Dec 10, 2008 9:51:39 AM

Last time I checked, Arizona plates had distinctive colors different from that of California, Nevada, new Mexico and Utah plates. Someone from New Jersey might not be able to recognize an Arizona plate, but you can bet your sweet bippie that every cop in Arizona knows what an Arizona plate looks like.

Posted by: Brandybuck | Dec 10, 2008 10:40:29 AM

I'm split on this... I can see their point in that an officer may not be able to identify the various plates of all 50 states. On the other hand, in how many situations is this actually a problem - the officer needs to find out information on the owner but not pull them over or get close enough to identify the state? I'm guessing it's pretty rare (but I'm no expert).

My take is that it's more revenue-driven than anything to do with public safety or law enforcement. Then again, it may be enforced to the same degree that the "front license plates are required" law is in California - I don't put front plates on my cars for aesthetic reasons (yes, I'm lawless heathen scum), and I've gotten two fix-it tickets in 15 years.

Posted by: ErikTheRed | Dec 10, 2008 11:11:49 AM

This brings me to a point I often make about traffic and other auto-related laws: Many people (myself included) think that most of these laws have more to do with revenue generation than they do public safety. Especially certain speed limits. No, I don't think we should be able to do 90 through school zones, but anything lower than 90 on an open, rural interstate is silly. The "basic speed law" works best, as anyone who's driven on the German Autobahns can attest. It's not just the speed that's nice there, it's how orderly things are when everyone scrupulously obeys that rule.

Anyway, back to my point - if automotive law enforcement is more about public safety than it is revenue, then there should be a law passed that allows are fines to be paid to the non-profit charities of our choosing (baring conflicts of interest, like somebody paying a charity that pays money back to them) instead of the State. This removes the conflicts of interest from law enforcement - and it will never, ever, ever happen in our lifetimes. They have a nice, neat little system where accusations are almost impossible to disprove, you'll never get a jury, you'll almost never even get a judge in most states, and the more violations they write up the more money they get. I don't see how we could ever get into trouble there.

Another problem with stupid and useless automotive laws is that they're the first real set of laws (and often, hopefully, the only set) that the vast majority people encounter in their lives. And so what we teach people from the get-go is that laws are stupid and arbitrary (if not outright corrupt), and we should "use our best judgment" rather than follow them. I'm pretty certain that the road to hell has a 65-MPH speed limit.

Posted by: ErikTheRed | Dec 10, 2008 11:21:40 AM

Many/most states have several dozen plate designs now, and new plate designs are coming out constantly. If the state name isn't visible, it may not be possible to run the plate. If the plate isn't readable on the roll, what's the point of the plate at all? Requiring legible state names is a common sense regulation. The question is, why wasn't it already reflected in the law?

Posted by: Dan | Dec 10, 2008 1:06:03 PM

Another problem with stupid and useless automotive laws is that they're the first real set of laws (and often, hopefully, the only set) that the vast majority people encounter in their lives. And so what we teach people from the get-go is that laws are stupid and arbitrary (if not outright corrupt), and we should "use our best judgment" rather than follow them.

This is a good lesson to be learned. I consider that to be a benefit.

Posted by: Reformed Republican | Dec 10, 2008 1:15:39 PM

@ Dan

It is, at least in California. You're not allowed to have anything obstructing the plate (including those plastic covers). This doesn't seem to be a huge problem. I honestly don't think I've ever seen more than one or two frames that cover the name on the plate. They've got to be pretty elaborate and ornate. I don't know how they print them in arizona, if they're saying half the cars in the senate parking lot have the state name obscured, but maybe they should get a clue and print them bigger.

Posted by: James | Dec 10, 2008 2:19:46 PM

@Reformed Republican - I'd rather just have laws that aren't absurd, but that's too much to ask from Democrats and Republicans.

Posted by: ErikTheRed | Dec 10, 2008 2:33:31 PM

This is just another crap attempt to extort money and dominate people.

Unless you're pretty close to the plate you can't see the state name anyway. Given that and how many specialty plates every state issues its damn near impossible to tell exactly what state a foreign plate comes from anyway. Plus I'm pretty sure that cops and citizens can tell theor own state's plates from others

Posted by: Agammamon | Dec 10, 2008 5:40:26 PM

We need to start a fund that goes towards posting signs on all major roads leading out of Arizona into California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. These signs would say something like, "Welcome, Arizona citizens! You are now free to obscure the word 'Arizona' on your license plates until you go back into Arizona!"

Posted by: gmsc | Dec 10, 2008 10:33:44 PM

This post could be renamed "No issue too small to complain about." Is a law that requires a license plate's identifying features to be uncovered really that oppressive? Of course, I'll admit that I probably could not identify all 60 of Arizona's plates, so maybe I am biased by my own ignorance.

Posted by: mahtso | Dec 11, 2008 10:42:48 AM

Those of us outside AX know how in the dark AZ is. AZ is so far behind the curve of the mortgage mess as to be in last place. We feel for you

Posted by: chris | Jan 13, 2012 1:52:30 PM

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