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Display of license plates - traffic cameras and ALPR

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  • Display of license plates - traffic cameras and ALPR

    I have a question for my more experienced GA peeps.

    I've been thinking about citing for tinted and translucent tag covers. I always thought it was a bit hummy to write it, but I sort of came to a realization that the likely reason those covers are on there are to avoid being scanned by traffic and ALPR cameras and to reduce the visibility of an officer using his or her eyes to observe it. I know the cover in and of itself is illegal. However, what if you pull the person over and straight up ask him or her why the cover is on there and they point blank tell you it's to avoid detection (from any of the previous reasons).

    Would you cite the original charge? Or do you think this would apply:

    O.C.G.A. 40-2-6.1 (2010)
    40-2-6.1. Obscuring license plate in order to impede surveillance equipment


    Any person who willfully covers any license plate with plastic, other material, or any part of his or her body in order to prevent or impede the ability of surveillance equipment to clearly photograph or otherwise obtain a clear image of the license plate is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00.
    Are traffic and ALPR cameras surveillance equipment under the law for the purpose of this statute?
    There once was a man who said: "Though,
    it seems that I know that I know,
    what I'd like to see is the I that knows me,
    when I know that I know that I know."

    - Alan Watts

  • #2
    I just checked some case law, Hill v. State. I noticed the wording in this particular paragraph:

    Stopping and detaining a driver to check his license and registration is appropriate when an officer has a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the driver or the vehicle is subject to seizure for violation of the law. See Humphreys v. State, 304 Ga.App. 365, 366 (696 S.E.2d 400) (2010). Moreover, visual surveillance of vehicles in plain view does not constitute an unreasonable search for Fourth Amendment purposes, even if the surveillance is aided by an officer's use of a license plate tag reader, because a defendant does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in a plainly visible license plate. See Hernandez–Lopez v. State, 319 Ga.App. 662, 664(1) (738 S.E.2d 116) (2013).
    Emphasis mine. I'm still a noob when it comes to case law. Am I correct that the court of appeals affirm that visual inspection and ALPR technology are both methods of surveillance?
    There once was a man who said: "Though,
    it seems that I know that I know,
    what I'd like to see is the I that knows me,
    when I know that I know that I know."

    - Alan Watts

    Comment


    • #3
      I would not use that one unless you are sure they are trying to get around the surveillance equipment. Best to use the following but I will tell you it gives for great PC.

      O.C.G.A. 40-2-41
      Display of license plates

      Unless otherwise permitted under this chapter, every vehicle required to be registered under this chapter, which is in use upon the highways, shall at all times display the license plate issued to the owner for such vehicle, and the plate shall be fastened to the rear of the vehicle in a position so as not to swing and shall be at all times plainly visible. No person shall display on the rear of a motor vehicle any temporary or permanent plate or tag not issued by the State of Georgia which is intended to resemble a license plate which is issued by the State of Georgia. The commissioner is authorized to adopt rules and regulations so as to permit the display of a license plate on the front of certain vehicles. It shall be the duty of the operator of any vehicle to keep the license plate legible at all times. No license plate shall be covered with any material unless the material is colorless and transparent. No apparatus that obstructs or hinders the clear display and legibility of a license plate shall be attached to the rear of any motor vehicle required to be registered in the state. Any person who violates any provision of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

      Comment


      • #4
        I use 40-2-41, but only stop for it if the cover is very dark or, if it is clear, has grooves in it designed to interfere with my LPR. While my camera's see though tint, grooves are put in covers to distort the image and make it unreadable. If someone asks why a tag cover is a big deal, I tell them "if your car gets stolen and we can't read the plate as it goes by, how are we going to recover it and catch the bad guys?" Another reason is if the car is used in a crime, the vic or witnesses can't read the plate, but I keep that to myself.

        The plate frames that are put on car's by dealerships are also considered illegal since it's obscures part of the plate (esp the validation sticker) but I only know of one officer that writes for that, and everyone think's he's a d-bag.
        Originally posted by Ceridwen
        Just one would be stingy of me, I'd have to get two. For the children.

        Comment

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