Dear Metroblogging, about that third parking ticket I got for not having a front license plate…

parkingticketcostume.jpgReader Eddie Atherton has a theory as to why he’s received three seperate parking tickets for not having a front license plate in five seven months. It’s a “make money quick scheme for the city”.

The first ticket was given in December mid-2006 in a Playa del Rey city lot, where Eddie says other cars were also ticketed for “overstaying their welcome”. He doesn’t explain how and when he received the second ticket A second ticket was given in front of his residence around midnight sometime last December, but is most upset about the third ticket he received this past Friday night “at 1:07am”.

…yes 1AM. I live on a residential street, that has absolutely NO parking restrictions, not even for street cleaning. The nearest street that has any restrictions on it, is over 5 blocks away, and I’m not on a through street either. You’re only on this street if you live there. So, what were the “Parking Nazis” doing patrolling the neighborhood at midnight, and the early hours, where cars could NEVER be parked illegally.

You know what I think? They have a list of addresses of people previously ticketed for “no front plate”, and they are cruising around to see how many they can find to re-ticket.


Eddie closes by saying:

Hey, it’s a quick buck, and there’s not likely to be anyone around at that time to yell and scream at them. And how much are we paying, in overtime, for these people to work through the early hours of the morning.

The only thing strange I see here is that while you’ve received three tickets for not having a front license plate, I’ve noticed and increase  in the number of cars, mostly SUVs, driving around the city without license plates at all. No temporary registration stickers, no dealer frame or insert. And, of course, the only reason I notice is because these vehicles are notably driven by assholes.

(Most egrigious is the extended stretch Hummer, equipped with a train horn, that makes the rounds in my Hollywood hood all too often.)

Now, as for that front license plate, let me know how much your last ticket was, and for half the cost I’ll personally come over and install your front license plate for you. (Sadly, bloggin’ don’t pay the bills, and you have money to burn.)

…photo by My Robot Bee via Flickr…

29 Replies to “Dear Metroblogging, about that third parking ticket I got for not having a front license plate…”

  1. “I keep breaking the law and I keep getting fined for it; clearly this is a government conspiracy.”

  2. Actually, I did say when the 2nd ticket was given. It was December last year, also when my car was parked outside my home. At MIDNIGHT.

    Cheers.

  3. Bah, I get one every single time I park our sportscar on the street. I’m in the bank for 5 minutes, BAM…. no front plate ticket. It’s like they know I’m out and about.

    The front plate ruins the lines of our car and I’d have to drill the fiberglass to be able to attach a front plate. Thats not going to happen!

    My solutions? Keep the car covered and parked in our lot and don’t take it out for errands that require parking.

  4. OK….reality check, CA is a two plate state and has been since the 1920’s and its not going to change anytime soon. Until it changes you deserve every ticket you get. Who cares if the “lines” of the car are ruined. Your dealer is required to provide you with the mounting plate so you don’t have to drill holes in your bumper so bitch at them to get it fixed.

  5. Sorry if I’m missing it but what’s E’s reason for not attaching the front plate after the first ticket? And if the reason is he doesn’t have one to attach why hasn’t he remedied that through the proper motor vehicle channels?

  6. You might be surprised how often this issue comes up in the Legislature. But as one commenter mentioned, it won’t change so get over it.

    Really, really hard to drum up sympathy for the legion of luxury car owners (hey, no disrespect, I’m sincerely waiting for the day I can got get my dream Benzo) who hate mucking with the “lines” of their car.

    I don’t have much sympathy either. This is one of those things it’s probably better NOT to complain about too loudly. It’s not exactly tough to fix. The DMV DID give you two to start with, after all.

  7. Whether or not Eddie is being targeted I think is irrelevent – he should just take care of the problem.

    That said, there’s more arguments against front license plates than just aesthetics. To begin with, most cars are built to be as aerodynamic as possible, and plate design cuts into this. Dealers may be required to accomodate plates, but car manufacturers are trying to make as efficient vehicles as possible (especially by the state of California) while only a handful of states require front plates.

  8. He DOES have to have a front plate – that’s CA law. The fine should be escalating for every subsequent ticket as well.

    But chin up, scofflaws – it’s better now than it used to be. In the past you had to go to the police station of the officer who wrote your ticket, get an officer to come out and inspect your car (once you’d installed a front plate), and sign off on your ticket (oh and also pay a fine).

    At least now you just have to pay the fine.

    Which, if you insist on continuing to ignore the law even after THREE fines, you should just shut up about.

  9. I seriously doubt that a front plate effects performance in normal street-driving conditions. Most supposedly necessary performance items on cars are irrelevant (for example: spoilers on most Porches have to be altered to pop up at lower speeds to fluff American driver egos because they aren’t needed at our highway speeds).

    If a front plate actually ruined fuel efficiency, I think someone would’ve made a bigger point of that already.

    (p.s. California doesn’t demand *efficient* vehicles, it demands low emission vehicles. There’s a difference.)

  10. Did some of you think I was complaining? Heck no. Hey, it’s the law and thats fine by me. I’ll gladly pay the tickets if the only alternative is drilling into my fiberglass body panels.

    I am working on a magnetic device that will allow the plate to be mounted when I park and is easy to remove when I drive.

  11. Removing it when you drive is still breaking the law and in communities like Beverly Hills, Monrovia and Arcadia its enough to be pulled over, especially after dark and horrors, search you if they suspect you’ve been drinking.

  12. Yep, I was in fact pulled over by a cop on a bicycle (oh, the irony!) last year for not having a front plate. It’s a “fix it” ticket which means if you subsequently show proof of having a front plate, all you need to do is pay an “administrative fee”. A big part of the reason they’re pushing this (besides the obvious revenue) is for the red light cameras, which, come to think of it, is just another revenue stream.

  13. 1. I don’t have an Enzo.
    2. I don’t go to Beverly Hills, Monrovia or Arcadia.
    3. I don’t drink.
    4. I don’t run red lights.
    5. My car does has no hardware which enables a front plate to be mounted. I’d rather pay the fines than drill holes to accommodate one.

  14. “Your dealer is required to provide you with the mounting plate so you don’t have to drill holes in your bumper so bitch at them to get it fixed.”

    And that mounting plate is mounted to the front of the car by drilling holes in the bumper. Not by magic invisible fasteners.

    “Most supposedly necessary performance items on cars are irrelevant.”

    For average street driving, absolutely true. The vast majority of “tuned, performance” street cars need almost none of their modifications.

    “(for example: spoilers on most Porches have to be altered to pop up at lower speeds to fluff American driver egos because they aren’t needed at our highway speeds).”

    Err…exactly backwards. Those (now discontinued) spoilers rise at higher speeds, not lower speeds, and at those higher speeds, they DO impart a benefit by subtlely increasing rear downforce, thereby increasing high-speed stability and cornering traction, making for a safer car.

    And obviously, it’s got nothing to do with ego.

    It’s too bad some people seem so down on other people who enjoy the aesthetics of their cars. Let them have their fun. If they’re willing to pay, fine. For people who are into motorsports, we know the costs. I look at missing-front-plate tickets as part of the cost. I don’t complain, I pay it. Michael’s done the same thing. Seems like that should be the end of the argument.

  15. Yeah, what Pieter said. Seriously, my car has no bumber, hidden bumper, springs…. nothing. Just
    fiberglass!

    SGVGOOFBALL, I feel sorry for you. Is a wonderful car any less of a creation than a beautiful sculpture or painting?

  16. “Err…exactly backwards. Those (now discontinued) spoilers rise at higher speeds, not lower speeds, and at those higher speeds, they DO impart a benefit by subtlely increasing rear downforce, thereby increasing high-speed stability and cornering traction, making for a safer car.”

    Nope, you’re backwards. Yes, from the physics angle, a spoiler does rise to imrpove traction. But American highway speed limits prevent (by prevent I mean, should keep) cars from getting fast enough to actually NEED the spoiler to improve traction. It just pops up to make you feel like a badass. Seriously. They had to reprogram the commuter to have it pop up sooner, otherwise people never got to see it pop up and then they felt so sad.

    I adore cars. I adore beautifully styled cars. And no, I wouldn’t want to muck it up. But I like to aspire to viewing laws as less of an inconvenience and more of something to be respected because without laws, it’d be a nastier world than it already is. I hate the “slippery slope” argument as much as the next girl, but, c’mon.

    And if it wasn’t a complaint, I’m having a hard time figuring out what this post is trying to say about the law and the people who break it.

  17. You know, this is exactly the kind of argument my friends back east would expect people in LA to be having. Something perfectly comprehensible and easily done is too hard for LA people to handle and so they complain. I can’t believe this got posted on what is usually a site that discusses ACTUAL ISSUES about living here. ACTUAL. REAL. PROBLEMS. Not a “boohoo I love my car sooo much and I obviously spend way too much money on it” problem. Though I have grown to really enjoy living here, thanks for encapsulating everything I hate about LA into one single post.

  18. If everyone in So Cal took off their front plates, that would be the end of front plate enforcement. Tell me one good reason, other than “it’s the law” to have a front plate.

    So we can be better identified by money generating red light cameras? Which I don’t run. Or to facilitate some other infringement on our civil rights?

  19. Pieter. I agree with you. I wasn’t, so much, complaining about the tickets, as I know it’s a fact of life having a car where the front plate reduces the air flow to the radiator/oil cooler by around 75%.

    My beef was the way they were “collecting” these “fees”. I guess they have to justify paying for the graveyard shift/overtime somehow.

    Cheers,
    Eddie

  20. CD, do you work for CARB?

    “Nope, you’re backwards. Yes, from the physics angle, a spoiler does rise to imrpove traction.”

    Nope, then yes?

    If a spoiler increases downforce from a physics angle (is there any other?) then it works, in which case, you’ve invalidated your own negation of my statement, especially since I never said anyone NEEDED the benefit of a spoiler–be they in a GT3 RS or a Geo Metro–only that they can be *subtlely* beneficial; and yes, that includes at posted highway speeds in the state of California.

    And please, do tell where you get your data on the relationship between social egocentrism, mass psychology, automotive buying habits, car engineering, and motorsports? It must be fascinating reading. The conclusions you jump to! It’s positively thrilling! I’d like to subscribe to your sources, since it’s of majestic importance that we who drive sports cars be perceived as ever more formidable badasses, and that our egos remain sufficiently fluffed so as not to disarray our meticulously coiffed hair, nor tarnish our gold chains.

    God forbid we drill our fiberglass!

  21. How does it reduce the airflow 75% Is that on ALL CARS? I call that stat bluff.

    And Z – while we’re looking for references, how about the one where your right to drive without a front plate or avoid detection by a redlight camera becomes a “civil right.”

    There are many law enforcement reasons for keeping cars identifiable aside from the red-light cameras, which includes, very importantly, witness ability to identify vehicles in accidents (think hit-and-run).

    “I don’t hit-and-run” response coming in 5 . . . 4. . . .3 . . .2 . ..

  22. I don’t even understand your second graf, Pieter. Leave the psychology out of it: the fact remains, that spoiler will pop up at whatever speed the computer tells it to. And the computers on US cars tell it to pop up sooner than they will tell the same car, programmed for the German road.

    The answer was indeed a “no and yes” situation because you were arguing a point different from the one I was arguing.

  23. Cheers Eddie. I wasn’t having a go at you at all; I never referred to your original post in fact.

    Good point about reduced airflow to the radiator too. With some cars, that is an issue.

    And yeah, I’d be wondering about the wee hours revenue collection as well. Isn’t there some sort of more sensible way to allocate our tax dollars?

    Oh, wait…some questions answer themselves!

    Happy motoring all!

  24. “I don’t even understand your second graf, Pieter. Leave the psychology out of it:”

    I will when you do. You’re the one who first suggested Porsche drivers are possessed of giant egos, feel sad when their spoilers don’t pop up, need fluffing, and want to feel like a badass. How on earth is that not deeply presumptuous psychological analysis of a population you probably don’t know very much about?

    The second graf is quite comprehensible I dare say, it’s just that your comments were the butt of that joke so perhaps it’s better left ignored.

    But if you were simply jesting in the first place, then I apologize for the joke missed and we’re even and we’ll call it a day.

    “the fact remains, that spoiler will pop up at whatever speed the computer tells it to.”

    Obviously.

    I bet you can’t wait for OBD III! Then the government will REALLY have us all by the proverbials! We won’t even need plates anymore. Nor red light cams! (“I don’t even understand your second graf, Pieter. Leave the psychology out of it:”

    I will when you do. You’re the one who first suggested Porsche drivers are possessed of giant egos, feel sad when their spoilers don’t pop up, need fluffing, and want to feel like a badass. How on earth is that not deeply presumptuous psychological analysis of a population you probably don’t know very much about?

    The second graf is quite comprehensible I dare say, it’s just that your comments were the butt of that joke so perhaps it’s better left ignored.

    But if you were simply jesting in the first place, then I apologize for the joke missed and we’re even and we’ll call it a day.

    “the fact remains, that spoiler will pop up at whatever speed the computer tells it to.”

    Obviously.

    I bet you can’t wait for OBD III! Then the government will REALLY have us all by the proverbials! We won’t even need plates anymore. Nor red light cams! (

  25. CD – I meant civil liberties when I said civil rights, my bad. I think it’s my right to drive around a city in a free country without being identified. Those photos are public record.

    I just think it’s a bad precedent to start photographing people in their cars going about their business even if they make an error on the road. What if I’m doing something legal, but that I don’t want anyone else to have a record of? This very issue is becoming a problem in England where they have red light, speed cameras and street cameras all over the place. How long until someone decides to just switch on those red light cameras and keep a log of where you went today? Or look for facial metrics that match known terrorists? Just all feels too big brother to me.

    I don’t agree that having a front plate makes it any easier to identify a hit and run driver, but I’ll look at the proof if someone provides it.

    I still haven’t found a convincing argument for why a front plate should be mandatory.

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