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Faded plates: A ploy to ride for free on Hwy 407?

Published October 25, 2012

We’re not supposed to take photographs of cars with local licence plates.

Who knows why – maybe the driver would have some ‘splainin’ to do as to why (s)he was there (or was not somewhere else), and The Star just doesn’t want to get wrapped up in that.

So I can’t illustrate this point.

More: If you have a vanity plate, don’t drive like this

More: 10 legal loopholes that could void a ticket

But I’m sure you’ve all seen them – licence plates where the blue paint on the characters has ALL gone away.

One I saw recently was really old – three digits followed by three letters. Can’t remember how long ago that was the format, but with the “plate-to-owner” system now in place, you keep the plate forever.

But I have seen this on newer cars too – four letters, three digits.

Whatever, it sure does make it cheap to ride the 407 – they can take photos of your plate all day long and I can’t see how they’d ever ID you.

Ditto if a cop wanted to track you down.

Dispatch: “What’s the plate number?”

Officer: “Uh, seven blanks…”

Do plates wear out? Does the paint just fade, or get scrubbed off in car washes?

If so, the lads at Millbrook or Collins Bay or wherever they make the plates now must use a different paint for the characters than for the rest of the plate – it seems you can always read “Ontario” at the top and “Yours to Discover” at the bottom.

You don’t think some of these people may have come a bit too close to the plate with the wire brush in their handy portable drill?

Nah, perish the thought.

Because it would be a clear violation of the Ontario Highway Traffic Act to not have a legible plate showing to the front and rear of the vehicle.

How do these people not get tickets? Given how old at least some of these plates are, surely some minion of the law would have caught up to them by now.

Unlike me – I parked on a city street this morning 10 minutes before the “Permit needed” period was up. POW; 30 bucks.

Maybe if I can figure out how to obscure my plate the way these folks have I can make that back in dodged 407 tolls.

Of course, I’m kidding…

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