Illegal spaced number plates - BobbyG
I was amazed the other night whilst watching Police Interceptors that a blond Essex Bimbo got stopped for having a number plate that contravened every rule - font, spacing, colour, bolts , misrepresentation and no supplier mark.

Even though she admitted that she had been stopped before she got a £30 fixed penalty. Hardly a deterrent is it?

I would have the first offence a £100 fine, the second offence the number is taken from you and confiscated and you have to keep your car off the road until you have re-registered it on new number supplied from DVLA. Which won't happen overnight.

Thoughts?
Illegal spaced number plates - doug_r1
I'd have thought a personalised numberplate was easier to spot, so I don't really have a problem with them. It's the fact that the big-brother machines can't read them that annoys the authorities, who incidentally make a tidy sum from selling the same plates they are trying to stamp out.
Illegal spaced number plates - stevekay
I.ve always tought it criminal that the DVLA sell you a plate knowing that it relies on dodgy font/spacing/number plate bolts to justify its fiscal value and then when you put the plates on your car the Police nick you for it!!! I can remember when the criteria was "readable at 25 yards" which works well with most Cherished Numbers but clearly now we have another fund-raising item with a list of 9 contraventions that Lilly Law can charge you with.
Illegal spaced number plates - b308
The machines can read an illegally spaced plate, I would think... its when people start to change the letters/numbers into other letters/numbers that they don't want you to do... for instance making a 4 into an A...
Illegal spaced number plates - boxsterboy
I think that people who try and turn a 4 into an A on a number plate must be really, really, really sad!
Illegal spaced number plates - ForumNeedsModerating
..Cherished Numbers but clearly now we have another fund-raising item with a list of 9 contraventions that Lilly Law can charge you with.


I can't remember ever seeing these silly things up until , maybe 10 years ago. I think 'Lilly Law' didn't have to prosecute people then because there weren't many of the numpties to prosecute. The ones I often see, look barely legible & must make any necessary notification difficult, for ANPR, Police or other interested parties.

There does seem to be a correlation in my sightings, also, with daft number plates & either dodgy looking cars or dodgy looking drivers.

Hopefully, just one more ludicrous little sign of vanity that will be banished with the coming, harsher, economic times.
Illegal spaced number plates - rtj70
I saw one that was so bad once I took a photo and sent it to the DVLA. The font (all swirly), spacing, everything made it impossible to work out the original. It spelt out a gym in Oldham. I wonder if he still has the illegal plate on his L200.
Illegal spaced number plates - Peter D
DVLA apply "3 strikes and your out" and suspend your registration permanently and at your cost you have to register a new registration. Regards Peter
Illegal spaced number plates - Lud
Simply can't bring myself to give a tuppenny damn about any of this. Indeed I like silly number plates, the more illegal the better. It is a harmless frippery, sympathetic rather than otherwise and intended to attract attention rather than slip through the net.

As for people with silly number plates being dodgy or driving dodgy looking motors, in this they are as one with a near-majority of the others on the road whose number plates may be respectable and boring although the drivers are merely boring. So there.

Illegal spaced number plates - ForumNeedsModerating
Having a silly number plate certainly doesn't make you interesting or give you a 'Jonny Rebel' like allure, to my mind. While admiring certain forms of creative & thoughtful rebelliousness in dress & manner, simply having an excess of money to waste of such naff vanity projects as your name/job/interests marked out in some obtuse, unreadable way on a piece of plastic on the front of the car seems utterly cheesy to me.

Any type of vanity plate or 'funny' lettering/spacing etc. always seems to spell 'numpty' anyway.
So there (x2)! ;)

Illegal spaced number plates - Hamsafar
If everything else is in order, and the car is driven well, I don't see any reason to care with all of the serious problems in the country and all the despicable and heinous crimes which go unpunished including very serious motoring offences by drugged-up car thieves.
Illegal spaced number plates - Lud
If I went round despising people and thinking them numpties because their fashion choices, wardrobe, mode of address or interests are different from my own, I would soon begin to feel massively superior and suspect that I might be a bit of a miserable carphound.

We may think swirly Arabic-style number plates a bit too cheesy for us woodbines, but why should we mind others having them if it gives them innocent pleasure?
Illegal spaced number plates - Optimist
I sort of agree with Lud on number plates, wardrobe, etc, etc but find that people with such plates, wardrobe, etc, etc are quite often as numptyish as their choice of plates, wardrobe, etc, etc would lead one to believe. So early identification permits one to go somewhere else for a drink.

I am, of course, a bit of a miserable carphound with a thin skin of massive superiority. But I do know some nice pubs.

Illegal spaced number plates - Lud
Sometimes though Optimist bits of numptyish bad taste can be present in a person who isn't a numpty at all.

The converse is also often true: the trappings all tick the right boxes but the individual is still a numpty or worse (I don't mind a cuddly numpty so much, what I hate is a slimy brutal carphound).
Illegal spaced number plates - Kevin
>are quite often as numptyish as their choice of plates..

I had a quiet giggle to myself earlier this week. A 3-series had overtaken a queue of cars at a roundabout and was trying to push his way in at the front to turn left. The registration was CUL 1 plus another letter.

Obviously not a French speaker.

Kevin...
Illegal spaced number plates - Ben 10
"but why should we mind others having them if it gives them innocent pleasure?"

I mind, because its illegal in the first place; they know it, and think they can stick two fingers up at everyone who abides by the rules. If cars with illegal plates are allowed, then scrap the number plate rules and lets have a free for all. A level playing field.
They can customize everything on the car from the colour to the tail pipe, so why can't they just put up with a little bit of uniformity that we all adhere to.
I'm in favour of tightening up on these miscreants. But it must be easy to flout the law as there are so many on the roads.
Illegal spaced number plates - Lud
Your attitude is strict, scribe. But should plod really tighten up on these miscreants when he is struggling with uninsured and unlicensed dangerous drivers and others whose behaviour or attitudes really are a threat to society? First things first, I mean. And quite frankly I think to care much about this is a tiny bit Mary Whitehouse...
Illegal spaced number plates - ForumNeedsModerating
If you could pass on your list of nice pubs Optimist, I'd be most obliged - but for goodness sake don't let Lud know - he might be tempted to teach us a lesson & bring some newly minted fashion-plate-victim friends along to chastise us & spoil a nice drink! ;))
Illegal spaced number plates - Ben 10
" And quite frankly I think to care much about this is a tiny bit Mary Whitehouse..."

Heaven forbid Lud. I'm no prude, as I sit here like the Monty Python piano player in the nude tapping away!

My attitude is not strict. I too would like to have the flexibility of designing my own plates to impress but I bow to the law M'Lud, as that is the type of guy I am.

Its just if under current laws you let them away with one thing these people usually take advantage in other areas. I'd like the BIB who contribute to confirm or deny that when they stop vehicles with illegal plates, that other issues are picked up like insurance, MOT or tax. Many of these plates are designed to be illegible for a reason.
Illegal spaced number plates - ForumNeedsModerating
But should plod really tighten up on these miscreants when he is struggling with uninsured and unlicensed dangerous drivers and others whose behaviour or attitudes really are a threat to society?


But Lud - surely you know the old adage 'a stitch in time saves nine' - many flouters of what you appear see as unnecessary rules, will often be just a flouty in other areas too - perhaps Plod knows a thing or two !
Illegal spaced number plates - henry k
IMO There is a fairly simple way to significantly reduce the volume of such plates.

There is a vast labour force out there already equiped with cameras - Traffic Wardens.
Give them a bounty for snapping illegal plates. I feel sure they will warm to the task.
DVLA could send out warnings / fines and if further photos taken the DVLA says "Give me back the reg" If the plate continues to be used I think the traffic wardens would be more than happy to call the clampers for a further bounty.

This might even distract them from issuing parking tickets :-)
Illegal spaced number plates - Hamsafar
"There is a vast labour force out there already equiped with cameras - Traffic Wardens.
Give them a bounty for snapping illegal plates. I feel sure they will warm to the task.
DVLA could send out warnings / fines and if further photos taken the DVLA says "Give me back the reg" If the plate continues to be used I think the traffic wardens would be more than happy to call the clampers for a further bounty......"

Or better still, send them out into council estates at night to snap at gangs of 30 yobs smashing stuff up and attacking people etc....
Illegal spaced number plates - Pugugly
That would make my day.
Illegal spaced number plates - greenhey
This puzzles me.
If you travel in and out of the continent, you will end up in queues with cars from France, Belgium, NL , Germany etc.
If you look at their index plates you will see massive compliance withe the EU requirements and no attempt to mess with the standard fonts etc.
Yet if you look at the UK cars you will see, illegal fonts, spacing, finishes and wrong or missing GB identification.
What is it about us that makes us spend time and money on this? Is it some proud rebel gene, or is it some basic insecurity which gives us the need to assert ourselves even in this way?
My money is on the latter.
Illegal spaced number plates - Alby Back
I have a legally spaced but "personal" plate. I like it. I don't really care what anyone else thinks of it so that's alright then isn't it ? Next subject ?
Illegal spaced number plates - rtj70
I have nothing against personal plates. And a little change to spacing okay. But to put coloured bolts in to change it is pushing it. And then change the font so it's not really readable is wrong.

My Uncle had plates from the 60s (still does) with his main initials. JJ xxxx or something. Simple and relevant to him. Were on an XK140 last time I was visiting.
Illegal spaced number plates - ForumNeedsModerating
Sorry, But I never really get this 'I don't care what people think' line. It's a deliberate & premeditated display, it's making a statement in some way about a notion or perception of individuality. How is that not caring or being interested (or indeed, investing a real sense of self-worth in) what other people think?

I just don't buy it - not with number plates, flashy cars, botox, boob jobs or any of the other thousand ways we assert some notion of superiority or mark our 'individuality' with our fellow men (and women). An individual indulging in this kind of social promenading may not recognize it as such, but that really doesn't change anything in others' perceptions of it.

Most everyone does it to some degree - I suppose it comes down to a question of style in the manner of it.
Illegal spaced number plates - Manatee
>>wrong or missing GB identification.

The GB bit isn't mandatory.
Illegal spaced number plates - NorfolkDriver
I believe the DVLA/Government are missing a trick here.

I lived in the USA for 2 and a half years. Their system is a good one. When you register your car, you get given a number plate, or for $30 more per year you can have a personal plate.

System is so simple, each county could have their own markings and, for £30 per year each one of us could have a personal plate. 7 characters in 8 spaces.

No swear words or the like would be allowed, although how close to the line you can get would depend on the jobsworth behind the desk.

If I registered something in Norfolk, this could be duplicated in every other county in England too. It would require counties to be shown on the plates too but I cant see that as a problem.

Also, NORFOLK is different from N0RF0LK and any other variations.

Illegal spaced number plates - perleman
The new number plates enable people to more easily remember the registration of cars involved in crimes / hit and runs, so the US system would detract from that. The relatively high price of plates in this country means most people comply with this useful system.

Plates that can't be read by ANPR mean your car is less likely to be recoveres if stolen although that's your choice.

The thing that amazed me is that some of these plates are so far from legal, you wonder how they aren't pulled over by the 1st cop car that sees them, especially with regard to font & stud use.

I illegally spaced my plate, from "XX XXX" to "XXX XX", and made sure every other point of the plate complies, have had it for 3 months now & not been pulled over. Mind you I forgot to tell my insurance that I'd changed it so wasn't on the MID for a month till I remembered, and nothing happened, and I got a parking ticket outside my own house for not updating my parking permit (which I managed to wriggle out of!)
Illegal spaced number plates - Lud
Well, let's put it this way.

People want to be a bit sprauncy with their number plates. In the event that a number plate is actually illegible (I haven't seen any, but then I don't have this correct number plate obsession thing) plod will sooner or later pull the driver and ask what the number really is, issue an order to arrange a proper one, and so on.

But, people are saying, there are lots of these awful egotistical slightly weird number plates out there, and they are illegal. Give them an inch and they'll take an ell, etc.

So why isn't there a campaign? Why isn't plod interested enough to persecute these appalling numerical anarchists with all the force of the law and those special extralegal ways plod has to make your life a misery if he thinks you deserve it?

Because basically it doesn't matter at all, that's why.
Illegal spaced number plates - ForumNeedsModerating
>>I haven't seen any, but then I don't have this correct number plate obsession thing

But you do seem remarkably keen to try to put your 'free market' contrarian view across.
What would you call that I wonder.

So why isn't there a campaign? Why isn't plod interested enough to persecute these appalling numerical anarchists with all the force of the law and those special extralegal ways plod has to make your life a misery if he thinks you deserve it?

There must be 10,000 things illegal that there aren't 'campaigns' about - it doesn't mean they aren't illegal & the Police won't pursue them. When was the last anti- murder campaign you saw?

Try to answer the meat of the arguments, as laid out above & my & other posters' contributions - this going off on a quasi-liberal tangent & basically saying it's small minded to want to obey these 'minor' regulations tack all the time, is frankly, reminiscent of lefty college of further education debates.

Edited by woodbines on 20/09/2008 at 00:58

Illegal spaced number plates - Lud
You misunderstand me woodbines. I obey the law on this matter myself. I just don't mind other people frisking around with it. There's nothing 'quasi-liberal' about my attitude. It's completely permissive.

I'm afraid we just differ on the importance of legal-to-the-letter number plates. The other sort, the ones people are complaining about, don't make it difficult to identify a vehicle, quite the contrary. And having them on your car doesn't lead to worse 'crime', nor is it associated with it in any way except in people's fantasies. It's just harmless showy-offy stuff.

I really don't think this is the place to dig our heels in to halt the moral decline of society. It's just a waste of indignation and a waste of energy. Surely the place for that is where harm is being done, or threatened.

Illegal spaced number plates - go4apint.
sorry Manatee i think you will find it is mandatory to have your country ID on your car when travelling in another country.

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 20/09/2008 at 01:08

Illegal spaced number plates - Manatee
>>sorry Manatee i think you will find it is mandatory to have your country ID on your car when travelling in another country.

No apology necessary. I am frequently found with a firm grip on the wrong end of the stick. As we were on number plates I inferred that Greenhey meant the Euro GB emblem on the number plates, which I believe is optional.
Illegal spaced number plates - Kevin
>when travelling in another country.

In another country.

Kevin...
Illegal spaced number plates - Pugugly
Reading Lud's response I feel really nostalgic for the Permissive Society - whatever happened to it ? Growing up during its acme, whenever it was mentioned on the BBC it seemed so exciting, everything once permissive is now banned and tut tutted at by the middle classes.
Illegal spaced number plates - Alby Back
I share some of your nostalgia PU. However, I guess we all have our prejudices. I'm not keen on beards but numberplates don't concern me at all. Others probably worry about different things.......
Illegal spaced number plates - George Porge
With a name like Woodbines you'd have to presume a smoker? How much have you spent on the weed over the years to be cool amongst your peers trying whilst to emulate Marl-bro-man?

Nearly 10 years ago I purchased a PP, £500 plus 2 x transfers over that time. Its dateless and unmanipulated, which pidgeon hole do I fit in?
Illegal spaced number plates - Ben 10
"The other sort, the ones people are complaining about, don't make it difficult to identify a vehicle, quite the contrary."

So the minute font used on some cars and bikes, make it hard to read a distance. It can be difficult, can't it. But you have magnified 20/20 vision I presume. And you would make an ideal witness if any of these transgressors get themselves into any grief.

Edited by scribe on 20/09/2008 at 11:43

Illegal spaced number plates - GroovyMucker
Surely the point is that DVLA makes more money out of selling the things than HMG loses.

That's usually the way government works.
Illegal spaced number plates - Manatee
>>With a name like Woodbines you'd have to presume a smoker?

He might just be an afficionado of Parthenocissus quinquefolia...

To declare an interest, I also have an unmanipulated dateless number on fully legal plates - and it doesn't even have my initials on it. I just like it.

I do suspect some of using illegal plates in the hope of avoiding penalties for other transgressions, and whilst it doesn't keep me awake I think they need sorting out - with the apparent, if misguided, strategy of solving all crime using ANPR I expect there to be a crackdown.
Illegal spaced number plates - woodster
Lud - it's a harmless frippery until someone knocks down, or drives into, one of your loved ones. Plod can't trace the driver of a vehicle with a plate someone can't read, or the figures and numbers have been changed to look like something else. I take other user's points about the state selling them but perhaps we should go to some US states system where you can have what you want (within slight limits) provided no-one else already has it, but you must comply with space/style requirements. So, you can have, for example 'cobblers'. Seems appropriate in this thread!
Illegal spaced number plates - Lud
People haven't understood me. I haven't said or implied that there shouldn't be a standard format for number plates, or that the authorities shouldn't enforce the regulations (although like others I have noticed that they don't seem very worried about minor infractions). If the issue is whether ANPR magic eyes can read the things, then the authorities can be expected to do something about it, as Manatee says.

I have just said that I don't care about these number plates myself and I don't automatically look down on people who have them as poseurs, numpties, toerags etc.

Edited by Lud on 20/09/2008 at 15:39

Illegal spaced number plates - Ben 10
So Lud, you don't care if people flout the law. However trivial.

How about I exceed the speed limit, jump red lights, talk on a phone, not insure, avoid tax, don't pay for parking or parking fines, leave the scene of an accident, don't pay for fuel.... and so on; you would be up in arms if I was allowed to get away with any of it. So why not illegal plate owners. In the grand scheme of things it may appear trivial. But it is the start of a rocky road of the above. Some may use illegible plates to commit some of those transgressions. Many change the font/style for the sole purpose to confuse or to be mis-read. You might feel it is not worth bothering about, but many of these idiots know they are breaking the rules and what they should be displaying, but get away with it. It is the arrogance that they can go on doing as they please., because they know that the police or DVLA are not bothered to prosecute. Bigger fish and all that. But this attitude seeps into other parts of their lives. To the detriment of many of us.

I am not criticizing private platers, only the one's that are manipulated to the point of confusing others, when I and others have to abide by the rules and they don't. As has been said, its not done on the continent so why here. Its about time then, if you and others condone the few that laugh in the faces of the many, we go over to the European style plates and be done with it.
Illegal spaced number plates - Westpig
scribe,

surely there is a difference though.... the difference between a minor offence and a major one

e.g. 31mph in a thirty limit........or driving whilst three times the drink/drive limit

one person could have a very minor 'tut-tut' the other ought to be well and truly prosecuted


on a scale of 0 - 100, the 31mph man with no other exacerbating circumstances, might score a 1.....the drink drive man is going to be right up there isn't he. Number plates with the wrong font etc, what score would you give them? 10?
Illegal spaced number plates - Ben 10
Good evening Westpig,

Can you confirm or deny in the course of your duties that the people that display these illegal plates check out to be breaking other traffic violations?

I agree in the scheme of things that it appears trivial, but tighten up on the easy options might get them to get in line with everyone else. Speeding/drink driving/jumping red lights is a serious issue. Getting caught by BIB is rare. Like you said on previous posts, the traffic cop is a rare species these days. Having dodgy plates is an obviously handy stop and search tool, even to a normal area or panda patrol. Having an excuse to stop them can clear up outstanding fines, warrants,drink driving and terrorist activities.

So it gives the police the possibility of helping detect the scum that think it is their right to bend the rules to suit themselves; rather than being trivial, stopping such people might help clear up many other offences of a more serious nature.

Edited by scribe on 21/09/2008 at 00:51

Illegal spaced number plates - Lud
you don't care if people flout the law. However trivial.


I care much less when people flout trivial laws than when they flout important ones; and I care much less about small trivial infractions than about gross, in-yer-face, insulting ones. But as it isn't my job to enforce the law I can safely leave it to the responsible parties to deal with all that, and can reserve the right to enjoy the show and criticise both parties, or neither.

when I and others have to abide by the rules and they
don't.


At the risk of annoying you scribe, might I suggest that you don't have to abide by the rules any more than they do? Are you perhaps longing to have a number plate like one of those completely illegible security words they sometimes make you decipher when you are trying to buy something on line? If so, go for it. You won't find me complaining.

:o}
Illegal spaced number plates - Ben 10
There's no need to annoy me Lud, just contributing like yourself to the debate.

>>might I suggest that you don't have to abide by the rules any more than they do?
Why should I drop to their level

>>Are you perhaps longing to have a number plate like one of those completely illegible security words they sometimes make you decipher when you are trying to buy something on line?
No. Not in the slightest

>>You won't find me complaining.
You are though.Look at you previous posts. You're complaining that you don't care less.

What about my suggestion then, that we go over to a EU plate so we have a level playing field.
Yes or no. No dithering on this one. A straight answer.

Illegal spaced number plates - Lud
No.

We have quite enough Eurocarp here already. Let's go to hell in our own way. It's more comfortable.

'No dithering' indeed. Damn cheek. When do I dither?
Illegal spaced number plates - Ben 10
;-), I'm "dithering"off to bed. Good night Lud.
Illegal spaced number plates - Dave_TD
only the [plates] that are manipulated to the point of confusing others, when I and others have to abide by the rules and they don't


I saw one a few weeks ago that on first sight appeared to be P fifteen OFF - when I pulled up behind it it became apparent it was actually P nineteen OFP with the "nine" decal actually being made from an "eight" that had seen some stanley knife action before being laminated into the plate, and then black and yellow screw-head covers strategically positioned to alter the appearance of the nine and the P.

Now this may just appear like a bit of harmless fun to the owner, but what if they had clipped a wing-mirror / cyclist / pedestrian without realising (or caring?!) and carried on? I like to think of myself as pretty observant but I would have definitely not have read the correct registration number in such a situation.

I saw the same car more recently with correctly spaced / displayed plates so I can only assume they either had a pull or an MoT to pull them back into line.


What beats me is how so many people with pretty new cars can fit them with silver-on-black plates - this seems to be a growing phenomenon and I can't see how they can think it's alright!

Edited by Webmaster on 21/09/2008 at 13:32

Illegal spaced number plates - Andrew-T
>silver-on-black plates <

In the 50s and 60s, black metal plates with flat plain metal or (later) white plastic characters were standard, never mind common. Were they declared improper at some point?
Illegal spaced number plates - woodster
Illegal on vehicles registered/manufactured after some date around 1972 or thereabouts. I'd have to look it up for the exact date and you can probably guess that I'm not going to bother!

SQ

Edited by Pugugly on 21/09/2008 at 12:53

Illegal spaced number plates - b308
>> you don't care if people flout the law. However trivial.
I care much less when people flout trivial laws


Thats ok until the flouting of that "trivial" law detrimentally affects you personally... then its not so trivial....

Just a thought, Lud!
Illegal spaced number plates - GJD
sq
Basing priorities on emotions does not a reasoned or consitent policy make.

Edited by Pugugly on 21/09/2008 at 13:40

Illegal spaced number plates - Andrew-T
This fascinating topic seems to polarise contributors (mildly) into those who agree that putting standardised identifiers on vehicles has a valid purpose which it is sensible to comply with, and those who consider that choosing not to comply does no harm, so why bother?

As I see it, there may be two reasons for choosing a non-compliant plate: (a) it's fun and I have plenty of spare cash to waste on it; (b) if the font is way-out enough I may escape some forms of recognition. (a) is a bit sad, (b) is devious. It's strange that some who shell out serious money for these things don't seem to mind funding the system they often despise - though I suppose the real money-makers are SuperMarks Inc and the like (that doesn't exist, does it?) ...
Illegal spaced number plates - Alby Back
I think it's quite important to keep the points about illegal plates and personal plates apart.

Illegal plates can cause some problems and should probably not be encouraged.


Personal plates, displayed legally, are just another form of car styling, no more no less. They fall into exactly the same set of choices as make, model, colour, trim, choice of wheels or radio type.

I can understand why some might sniff at illegal plates but don't realy get all the vitriol about the latter kind. What exactly is the problem? I might not like, say, gold paintwork but I don't despise or deride others who choose it. It's up to them isn't it?

Or is even slight and harmless non-conformity frowned upon now?
Illegal spaced number plates - Bilboman
In centuries past, a minor offender used to be shackled to the stocks in the village and would be pelted with rotten vegetables and fruit and general insults.
Nowadays, a minority of drivers quite voluntarily submit themselves to similar ridicule by devising letter and number combinations which *almost* spell clever words and phrases. They then deliberately draw attention to themselves by fitting plates in bizarre fonts which are intended to make the registrations simultaneously illegible to ANRP but legible to everyone else (doh!)
Reach for those aubergines and mangel wurzels, people: it's time to make the humiliation complete!
 

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