Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner

1 - 20 of 135 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
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.
 

·
sock puppet
Joined
·
8,104 Posts
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...
 

·
ups and downs
Joined
·
15,592 Posts
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).
 

·
sock puppet
Joined
·
8,104 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
890 Posts
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!
 

·
Bike Junkie
Joined
·
377 Posts
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,949 Posts
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).
 

·
sock puppet
Joined
·
8,104 Posts
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!!!
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
2,015 Posts
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 :eek:

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.
 

·
Muskoka
Joined
·
3,473 Posts
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,949 Posts
osokolo said:
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.

:)

Good luck, MountainKat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
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.
 

·
sock puppet
Joined
·
8,104 Posts
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.
 

·
sock puppet
Joined
·
8,104 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts



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.
 

·
sock puppet
Joined
·
8,104 Posts
Unfortunately, WE PAY the cost of the trial as well, through our tax money, anyway. How do you spell a DOUBLE WHAMMY?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,949 Posts
osokolo said:
Unfortunately, WE PAY the cost of the trial as well, through our tax money, anyway. How do you spell a DOUBLE WHAMMY?
Canada. :p :D
 
1 - 20 of 135 Posts
Top