These things have been around for a while if I’m honest, but they appear to have popped up in the news recently and I’ve had an email from a guy called Michael about it. So that’s good enough for me.
Available on several “iffy” eBay listings like this, they’re sold as a way to “protect your car at night from thieves trying to steal your number plate and cloning your registration”.
What this basically does is hide your number / licence plate remotely when you press a button in the car. Although the eBay sellers would do some serious tongue-in-cheek denials, it’s an obvious way to hide your plate if you want to fly through the many speed cameras or average speed cameras that seem to be replacing road police.
It’s an offence to obscure or hide your plate, but for some it’s £75 compared to a big speeding fine or a possible ban. Here’s a video of it in action..
You can hide the front, the rear or both. It either plugs into your cigarette lighter or your car electrics directly. Failing that, a “third party” can fit it for you if you’re near Birmingham.
Meanwhile, there’s another version which flips down to either 45 or 90 degrees..
This one is from a company called iceflip.com and their sales pitch (get a load of this) is that it will help you “remove ice, snow and other crap that could otherwise easily get stuck in and obscure the license plate”.
Initially this, along with the fact that they’ve got the word “Ice” in their company name, seems ever-so-slightly more believable than the reasoning given by the first system we saw. Until, that is, they go on to say…
It is very solidly built and has a powerful motor that is capable of flipping the plate even at speeds above 250km/h (155 miles/h).
Hmm.. why would you want to flip down your number plate at 155 mph ? Surely all that “snow” would’ve slid off at that speed yeah? Plus, if it was ice that was stuck on your number plate, why the hell would you be going that fast in icy conditions?
Honestly, it’s as if these companies are just trying to come up with some weak excuses for creating an obvious way to avoid speeding fines and detection. Pff….
Just when you thought that was it, there’s a third version. As with the other two, this is remotely controlled but the people behind this solution actually do state that, “Hiding or distortion of car numbers on public roads is a gross violation of law”. They seem to be targeting people who are attending motor shows etc..
OK.. we’re done.. I think… wait, no, there’s another one. This one looks to be nothing more than an Android tablet stuck onto the back of a car though….
Anyway.. I’m off to get a coffee, but not like this lady… this is why we need less cameras and more traffic cops…