Thousands of Ontario drivers illegally use license plate covers to foil red light cameras — so why are stores allowed to sell them?
‘Anything on a plate, any plate cover, is illegal,’ police say, as number of obscured plates caught by red light and speeding cameras soars. But you can still buy tinted covers at Canadian Tire and on Amazon.
On a recent afternoon, in the police-only parking outside 13 Division headquarters on Eglinton West, there were at least three cars visible with darkly tinted licence plate covers, including a Mercedes-Benz and a black Mustang convertible.
Of fucking course.
I got a 'fix it' ticket for a smoked cover in Toronto, had to replace it with a clear one and then they dropped the ticket.
Canadian Tire also offers multiple “smoked,” tinted and bubbled covers for sale online and in store, though none are marketed as being able to block cameras and most come with legal disclaimers. In the company’s store on Eglinton Avenue West near Caledonia Road, there was an entire section of plate covers available when the Star visited last week with options including a “black smoke license plate shield,” and a “blue tinted bubble license plate shield.”
Busting drivers for illegal plate covers is also not a top priority for Toronto police. Even as the number of red light and speed camera images getting ruined by obscured plates has soared over the past three years, the number of tickets handed out for the offence of “obstruct plate” has remained relatively static. Toronto police wrote about 10,500 obstruct plate tickets in Toronto in 2020 and about 11,500 in 2022.
The eye test backs that up. Illegal plate covers are everywhere on Toronto’s streets, in its parking lots and even at its police stations. On a recent afternoon, in the police-only parking outside 13 Division headquarters on Eglinton West, there were at least three cars visible with darkly tinted licence plate covers, including a Mercedes-Benz and a black Mustang convertible.
Considering the level of enforcement our TPS does currently for basically anything... you expect them to go busting stores for selling plate covers?