Dec 19

vehicularThomasCrownePic.jpgWhat I’m proposing here is nothing short of the worldwide Vehicular Thomas Crowne Affair.

I hate photo radar. Hate it. And it’s not because occasionally I drive too fast and get a ticket. It’s because the city prostelitizes it as being a safety measure when in truth they’re using it purely as a revenue-generating tool. Last year in Scottsdale after only six months of installing speed cameras on the 101 highway, the city issued nearly $3MM in tickets… that’s just absurd. It didn’t make anyone drive slower. What it did was cause car accidents because inevitably some of the cars in traffic would hit the brakes as they approached the zones where they knew the cameras were. With a random fraction of the cars sporadically slamming on the breaks without warning, it’s no wonder that stretch of highway became one of the most dangerous in Arizona. Ultimately the City put an end to the experiment and pulled the cameras off the 101. Intersections throughout the Scottsdale still have red light cameras though, and the same problem exists- motorists become more concerned about avoiding a photo radar ticket rather than driving safely.

So if the challenge is how to defeat the photo radar cameras, you have a few options:

  1. You can obfuscate your license plate with a reflective spray or the little plastic shields that affix to your plate and make it difficult to read when the camera flashes. Those are banned in some states because they make it difficult to read the plate at night and worse for you the motorist and having one of will start you off on the wrong foot with an officer in the event you get pulled over.
  2. You can buy a radar and laser jammer to foil the speed-sensing mechanism on the units by disrupting the radio and light waves that bounce back and measure your speed. These devices are also illegal in some municipalities (especially if they employ active jamming techniques). Even if they are legal in your area, they too start you off on the wrong foot with a police officer.
  3. You could always get a paintball gun, be the defiant vigillante and goo up the cameras rendering them inoperable. This was actually happening in Scottsdale for awhile. Defacing city property however is against the law and this will get you fined if not thrown in jail when you’re caught. Plus it’s not a reliable or sustainable way to deal with the problem.
  4. You can accept the fact you’re getting ticketed and employ tactics like overpaying the fee to try and muck up the collection process once it’s issued. Also, because the ticket is not a certified, receipt-requested letter, you can ignore it and claim it never arrived. They will of course try to serve the ticket in person so be prepared to not answer your front door if you’re using this approach.
  5. Assuming that abolishing photo radar via policy is out of the question, you can get creative and think about the series of events through which these tickets get to you and approach the problem differently.

Think: How does the ticket find its way to you? the camera snaps the photo… someone has to look at the pictures and reference that plate number to a plate in the system… then that person mails the ticket to the address on file. Without physically altering your license plate to obscure it, how else could you make it difficult for that person to send the ticket? Simple:

Order a vanity plate with a bunch of characters that are confusingly similar in appearance.

vehicularThomasCrowne.jpgI just got my plate from AZ DMV and happily installed it this morning. It can still be read by the keen eye but from one of those crappy photo radar pictures it will be a non-trivial task to make out the characters. There aren’t many grey Tahoes in AZ that have a plate seemingly with all zero’s so with any amount of research effort the examiner could probably figure it out. But much like The Club causes enough of a nuissance to deter the would-be thief, this technique should cause the would-be photo examiner to pass over your ticket. And the more people that have plates with permutations of 0’s and O’s and D’s, the more difficult their task becomes: a veritable real life Vehicular Thomas Crowne Affair.

Is this civil disobedience? Perhaps. Is it a healthy thing to challenge the system when it sucks? You bet, especially when Scottsdale City Council has proven that all but one member is utterly incapable of performing their job (which should consist of listening to the citizens they supposedly serve and ensuring their concerns are addressed). You can go out and try methods #1-4 or you can abide by the current rule set, use your head and practice passive resistance. I propose the latter and suggest this tactic as a meme in order to send a message to the City of Scottsdale and other municipalities about how f’d up their financial printing press (ummm, I mean photo radar system) is. Research in Europe has already demonstrated that less signage, regulation and distraction makes drivers more aware of their surroundings and, consequently, more safe on the roads. The city needs to either admit that photo radar is a revenue-generating tool or do away with it. Period.

In Arizona getting a vanity plate takes $25 and all of about 5min to order online via this page on ServiceArizona.com. The plate arrives in the mail six weeks later and you swap it out. Done. You do have to specify the reason why you want that particular sequence of characters – I would suggest “Vehicular Thomas Crowne Affair.” Most plates have up to seven alphanumeric chars. Using O’s, 0’s and D’s there are a total of 2187 possible permutations for each state. Get your plate while it’s available! If you dig this technique, then digg this technique.

UPDATE 1/6/07: so this post has generated quite a local media frenzy while I was away on vacation. It made the Reddit homepage then was referenced from a Tribune article, TheNewspaper.com, and then yesterday Channel 3 and ABC Channel 15 interviewed me. I’ll be on KFYI talking about photo radar and the controversy of defeating it via this method and why I think it’s justified. I have not yet read the study on the 101 – if anyone knows where it can be found I would love to see the results and more specifically how it was conducted and how the researchers are interpreting the data. Call in to KFYI tonight at 7pm and chime in with your piece to take part in this discussion- I don’t see the phone # on their site but listen on AZ AM 550 and I’m assuming they’ll announce it. Thanks for everyone below who took the time to voice an opinion. From the comments below it’s clear that people have strong opinions one way or another and it should be a lively discussion.

LicensePlateOpEdarticle.jpgUPDATE 1/7/07: big thanks to Roberta Gale of KFYI for having me on her radio show last night. And here’s a salty op-ed piece from the Tribune. Betty Conklin clearly needs to switch to decaf and check her facts- a 16yr driving record with one ticket and one accident is hardly reckless.

This concludes the experiment. I registered the JumpBox vanity plate and will retire the OD00D0O plate when the new one arrives. It was never about evading the law or shrugging responsibility. It was about calling attention to photo radar and encouraging people to protest it. I have confirmed my suspicion before ever testing it on the road- the registration they issued me for my truck doesn’t even match the plate. It didn’t take photo examiner error for this technique to be effective- they err’d before the plate left ever the factory… Anyways, thanks for all the comments- I’m glad this experiment helped provoke some thought and stir people to consider some of the flaws with photo radar. It will be interesting to read the details of the independent study on the 101 photo radar safety survey when they finally publish it.

UPDATE 1/30/07- So this is the last update to this post- here is the new plate that arrived yesterday and has been swapped out for the 00DODO0 one – I’m happily sporting this one now but will consider changing to a new plate for all of ’07 for a six-digit sponsorship fee… ;-)

JumpBoxPlate.jpg

Here is the footage from the ABC “Good Evening Arizona” interview:



My favorite hate emails so far have been the ones where people say “what if someone is planning to commit a felony? You’re helping them get away.” Sorry, but which is more likely: that somebody planning to commit a serious crime will order a creative license plate then wait 6wks for it to arrive, or to just put duct tape over their plate and go do it? Oh crap I just told people how to put tape on their plate… c’mon people. I’m glad this experiment caused a stir and provoked some thought on the hypocrisy of photo radar. Aparently it made it all the way to Houston – sweet!

UPDATE 9/24/08: So the company behind the photo radar in Phoenix (Redflex) is more evil than I originally imagined. Apparently now they’re implementing active scanning of license plates of every vehicle that passes through one of their cameras, OCR’ing the plate and comparing it against a police database (cue Minority Report music).

49 Responses to “The Vehicular Thomas Crowne Affair: how to creatively defeat photo radar”

  1. Sean,
    This is exactly what I was thinking. I would hope to go the binary route though: DI01OL or something. Great post.

  2. Leslie says:

    Or, and I know this is a crazy idea: try not speeding. You might find that by lifting off the accellerator a little you stop collecting speed camera tickets. While I am appalled that the world over governments are using speed cameras as money earners I am equally amazed that people have trouble with the fact that if they don’t speed they won’t get tickets.

  3. sterno says:

    Nathan, binary only uses 1 and 0, as in, 1001010. That’s why they call it binary, two values. Probably you meant hex, but hex only has 0-9 and A-F.

    Leslie, I guess you’ve never been caught in a speed trap while driving through an unfamiliar town. Most speeding camera tickets are issued to out of town drivers, who conveniently have no representation in the local government.

  4. Suma says:

    @ Leslie,
    No shit sherlock

  5. [...] Sean Tierney over at “Scrollin’ on dubs” has a nice little rant about why he hates speed cameras and what might be done about them. I hate photo radar. Hate it. And it’s not because occasionally I drive too fast and get a ticket. It’s because the city prostelitizes it as being a safety measure when in truth they’re using it purely as a revenue-generating tool. Last year in Scottsdale after only six months of installing speed cameras on the 101 highway, the city issued nearly $3MM in tickets… that’s just absurd. It didn’t make anyone drive slower. What it did was cause car accidents because inevitably some of the cars in traffic would hit the breaks as they approached the zones where they knew the cameras were. With a random fraction of the cars sporadically slamming on the breaks without warning, it’s no wonder that stretch of highway became one of the most dangerous in Arizona. [...]

  6. Randal says:

    MOst of this is illegal in arizona.

  7. speed racer says:

    Leslie:

    The term ‘speeding’ is a presumptuous and relative assessment. It’s no secret municipalities manipulate speed limits for revenue generation purposes.

    The interstate that I utilize to commute to work is posted with a 55mph limit. At any given time during the day (barring gridlock), traffic flows at 75mph. That’s not one driver, not twenty drivers, but nearly ALL drivers. I doubt that everyone utilizing this strip of highway deliberately intends to leadfoot their way to their destination.

    By all means, if conditions (weather and construction come immediately to mind — I’m sure there are others) warrant a reduction in speed for everyone’s safety, then slow the hell down.

    But arbitrary and/or intentionally imposed ridiculously-conservative speed limits? Pff – all about revenue.

  8. JC says:

    I agree with the above poster. If you’re going to do the crime, then you should be willing to do the time.

    Unless you’re a libertarian who’s minting his own currency in his basement, your efforts are probably much better spent following law rather than trying to work your way around it.

  9. francine says:

    You are your father’s child.

  10. Bill says:

    You’re certainly not the first to think of this: I saw a Corvette on the 101 with a plate like “8B88BB8″ months ago.

    To my mind, where this sort of scheme works isn’t some guy analyzing a photo radar capture (he can easily narrow down the license plate to your vehicle or take the time to look for sharp rather than round edges). It’s best when you’re stopped at a light and a police officer is behind you entering your license plate into his little computer. If he mistypes, then he’s not going to spot your 147 outstanding parking tickets.

    I wonder (but I doubt it would work) if you could alternate the letter O with zeroes. That would be impossible to get right. You could even make it simple like “O0OO” and say it’s an exclamation.

    But hey, it got you into the paper.

  11. Mike says:

    Nice article. Really though I think you are a dickhead. You got your 15 minutes of fame. Now try lifting your right foot and OBEY the law like the rest of us and you won’t have to find ways to defeat getting a ticket. WOW what a novel idea! Later, LOSER

  12. Harris Deitch says:

    To beat photo radar. Stop at court and ask for Rule 42f (change of venue) before judge decides anything. Get it out of Scottsdale. Machined-signed tickets are invalid anyway. I believe it was Johnson vs. AZ DMV. I can get more info if you like. Thanks.

  13. chris says:

    I see nothing wrong with this. Its just a creative custom license plate. It’s not offensive, racist, or unappropriated, so why should the DMV care? If it’s a loop hole in the system, why not take advantage of it?

  14. Heather says:

    Wow, I cannot believe all of these people telling you that you are a dickhead, a moron, etc. I think you’re brilliant, not because you came up with something no one would ever think of, but because you actually followed through, posted your opinion publicly, and stuck to it. Of COURSE we could all avoid getting a ticket by not speeding, but is there anyone out there under the age of 72 and/or not a snowbird that NEVER speeds? Give me a fucking break, Leslie et al, Sean kicks ass.

  15. [...] The local media in AZ (newspaper, ABC news station and FM talk radio station) each have requested interviews regarding the last post I made. [...]

  16. Paul in Chandler says:

    Hey Sean, so I hear you hate photo radar. They are only ticketing if you are 12 over. There's a neat little feature on most cars called CRUISE CONTROL. set it for 75 and your fine. Of course you can't use it because most people follow too closely and that causes accidents.

    You incorrectly stated "it’s no wonder that stretch of highway became one of the most dangerous in Arizona." It was called that several years before the cameras and mostly because there was no cable barrier at the time and there were a lot of cross over head-on collisions.

    Bottom line, the test program worked, and the data is out proving it. They were even able to tell that people returned to their speeding habits after the cameras were turned off. The sensors in the road surface were still active.

    I think this program should be county wide.

    THERE IS NO REASON TO DRIVE 80 MPH OR HIGHER JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN.

    • Sam in Des Moines says:

      It's not your business to tell me or anyone else we have no reason to exceed your arbitrarily set speed of 80MPH or any other value, asshole… That is the point, too many people trying to tell others what to do just because they, personally would not or do not do it or do not like it. This is just more big brother and it's insidious. I don't care if you drive 120 if road conditions are conducive and you are in control of your vehicle. This whole traffic camera thing is a money-making enterprise on the part of local and state governments, period. They already get and line their pockets with way too much of my money — and give it to people who didn't earn it. And by the way, this whole idea is unconstitutional and denies due process.

  17. Heather says:

    HAHAHAHA that woman who wrote the letter to the newspaper is ridiculous. The level of ignorance & stubborn self-righteousness prevalent in our world makes me simultaneously nauseous & giggly. As if someone would go to your lengths just because they WANT SO BADLY to go over 75 mph on the freeway. Vomit. Again, nice job. :)

  18. Paul in Chandler says:

    Sean, your licence plate might exist because of a loop hole, but I think it can be revoked by complaint.

    If someone saw your car as a getaway vehicle for a felonious crime, the plate would not be reported correctly. Do you want your idea to be a hindrance to the capture and arrest of someone that robbed a bank, or was a prime suspect in a murder, rape, or kidnapping?

    Those two Missouri boys might not have been found if Dexter had a plate like yours.

    We all use loop holes from time to time, but I think this one is ill advised.

  19. sean says:

    Paul, et al-
    i respect your comments but read the last update on this post- i ordered the “JumpBox” vanity plate shortly after the story aired on the news and I will replace the confusing one w/ JumpBox when it arrives. This experiment was never about evading responsibility- it was about raising awareness of the hyprocrisy of photo radar. If it were truly a safety measure and deterrent as the city claims, why do they hide their photo radar vans in bushes? Think about it. The only plausible explanation is that safety is not the primary motivator, revenue is. They need to either do away with photo or admit that it’s a revenue-generating tool that causes more accidents than it prevents.

    sean

  20. noah kagan says:

    Wow. wild times my man. I pesonally loved the post.

  21. Just letting you know, on your list of 5 things to try, before going with the vanity plates that #4 is an Urban Legend.

    It is not true that overpaying will get you out of a ticket/points on your license.

    http://www.snopes.com/autos/law/ticket.asp

  22. Ian J. Kuhn says:

    I agree with the plate idea and the revenue generator theory. I was hit for going through a red light…the light had turned yellow for 1 second…and I mean literally one second before it turned red. My ticket said I was doing 34 in a 35, and that the light had been red for 0.01 seconds. Now if you can count to 0.01 seconds and not go over…feel free…the worst part was when I went to go fight the ticket they said that I couldn’t because it was a computer generated ticket. Although that was a few years ago in North Carolina, and I don’t know if things have changed since then. Down there they were worried about safety. They would actually leave police cars positioned in plain view with dummies in the driver seat wearing a police uniform.

  23. David says:

    Sean, you are a brilliant man. Municipalities love to use safety as a sokescreen for these revenue generating devices. The time to fight them on it is now, because once it becomes an established source of revenue for them, they will never give it up.

  24. Greg says:

    Hey Sean–

    Those things that stop your truck are called ‘brakes’, not ‘breaks’.

  25. Chris says:

    Privacy is important to me, and I do not believe anyone has the right to monitor my whereabouts at any given moment by tracking me by my license plate. With law enforcement increasingly difficult, detectives use every bit of information available to them…and if I happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, I am questioned until I can prove myself innocent. The implications of tracking your vehicle for purposes other than speeding or red light tickets is huge. Soon the IRS will be comparing my mileage on my taxes to the photo recognition mileage stats on my car. And then it will be up to ME to prove them wrong

    So I am proud to say that I received my 000000 (with a few Ds, Os, and 0s in there) plates today. From 20 feet away you can’t distinguish the letters. But, if you ARE 10 feet away, you really have no business keeping statistics on me. Within 10 feet, you can tell exactly what my plate is. Why would anyone farther away than that need to read an honest citizen’s plates? And I DO stop at yellow lights and drive the same speed as I did before I got these plates.

  26. Ant says:

    RE: 01/17/07 post:
    Her name was published as Brittany Conklin, not Betty Conklin.

    Also, here’s what I advocate. http://www.speedcam.co.uk/gatso2.htm
    Power to the People, the people with the ambition to take action!

  27. Larrew says:

    If these cameras are accepted by the people, what is next?? You see what happened to the people in England.. They have spy cameras on every corner and have NO PRIVACY… This is what our gov. in pushing for… First you accept cameras on your highways, then they are “PROTECTING” you by putting cameras in your neighborhood
    The city of Council Bluffs, Iowa… Had the cameras but the people in the midwest don’t just sit back and take it… They faught is and WON…Im not sure who to contact about fighting it so mybe someone will read this and contact Iowa and find out how to revoke the Illegle Taxation they are trying to impose on us…
    Proven fact the speed does not cause crashes as much as the Speed Variance.(the idiots who slow real quick to avoid the cameras flash)…

  28. Michael says:

    Speed is a relative term. That means that cities and counties can define whatever speed seems reasonable to them. In other words, money can be generated by lower the speed limit by 10 mph. Look at the history of speed limits and you will see that they change. I personally vote to raise the speed limit in areas where people are speeding to a more reasonable speed and ticket the people who are driving under the speed limit.

    In my opinion there are too many people here who are not sure why they are in a car on the road and are either doing something besides driving or are mentally somewhere esle. I miss driving in California with people who know how to drive instead of the “midwestern”, or people from the mideast U.S., southerners and plains folks. Too many of them think that a car is where you socialize and slow down to watch people change tires on the freeway. This is rubbernecker heaven here.

  29. Chris says:

    6 months after getting my 000000 license plate, I have a runin with the Texas tollway. It seems that are using wildcards for zeros and ohs and were able to read my plates for the automated toll reader (there is no toll booth to pay, they send you a bill in the mail). I imagine if more people were to have a license plate like mine, I would be getting their bill in the mail and vice-versa. After a few conversations with the tollway people, it seems that for ambiguous plates, an operator is presented a list of possible vehicles that may match the wildcards and a picture of the vehicle in the toll lane. From there, they pic the most likely (but not 100% sure) based on the color that they think your car is (they said mine was either blue or purple), and the make and model that they think it could be based on the chevy/toyota, and etc badge on your car. If there are any volunteers out there who want a Texas license plate like mine, we could prove just how inaccurate the system is-let me know.

  30. rte148 says:

    Bwwwaahahaha – love it, good for you. There’s no excuse for laziness, esp. when it comes to law enforcement types.

  31. [...] read more | digg story Posted by seethepost Filed in Uncategorized [...]

  32. Pete says:

    If any1 wants to get some of that reflective spray Sean mentioned in #1, it is available here -> http://www.PreventTicket.com/

    It really works, Check out the video review by fox news –> http://www.PreventTicket.com/flash/Fox31.wmv

  33. PRSKS says:

    Speed is not the problem it’s the majority of idiots who can’t drive. I learned to drive in Germany and spent lots of time flying down the autobahn 110 miles an hour and not even one mishap. In Germany you don’t get your license when you turn 16, you have to pay to go to driving school or you take the bus. The question is not speed, it’s the system, just like the Nazi’s slowly took away peoples rights, that’s whats happening here. First photo vans in PV, then Scottsdale, then intersections, then the freeway, cameras on top of light poles at intersections, now OCR optical character readers to track your movements, RFID chips in your drivers license, in your clothes. Hey, the government just wants you to be SAFE, The cameras are a TAX, a revenue generator, I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to hit my brakes because some moron in front of me had a panic attack because of the cameras, do the cities keep stats on rear end collisions as a result of the cameras, I think not, because that could be used as an argument against the cameras. You sheeple think this is about safety, most of all the posts are about speeding and driving the speed limit, have you thought about your privacy and how more and more you are loosing your rights to the government. Having all OOOOO’s on your plate just gave felons an idea to defeat the cameras, that’s brilliant, first the guy would have to be speeding to get his picture taken, hey! let’s put an RFID chip in the guys arm so that when he’s speeding past the camera it will take his picture and then transmit his Picture, name, address ssan,race, age, fingerprints, sexual orientation, medical history, criminal convictions to the cops, who wipe the crumbs off the spill proof keyboard, who then contact onstar who track him with the vehicles built in satellite GPS and transmit that data to norad who scrmbles an F22 Raptor to put a Sparrow missle up his rear, only he survives and goes to the hospital which already has his medical info from the RFID only the chip is a clone, sherrif joe arrests the guy because he’s an illegal, they don’t take his picture because the RFID sent it to the cops along with his fingerprints. A dirtbag criminal would put a stolen plate from the same model car on his before he would put all OOOO’s on his own car. How do I know?, because I was a victim of a dirtbag fellon who had a stolen plate on his car, the cops never found him!

  34. Sickened by Photo Radar says:

    Sean you are a saint and the world needs more like you!!! Leslie and the rest of the 54 mph left lane drivers, please take the bus or stay home.
    Lets do some rational thinking here. The radars are set for 11 or 12 over the posted speed limit. Therefore it would stand to reason that the department deploying them that 10 over is still a safe speed. If not then they would set them lower and lower until they were all set at the posted speed. The police KNOW that people will drive 10 over, why not up all of those speed limits to what people are driving and enforce them from there? Am I to believe that Leslie and her ilk have NEVER driven even one mile over the speed limit? Oh, you have, then you are “a lawbreaker” too and should turn yourself in to the local authorities. Sean you are all over what the paper and the news all refuse to cover, it’s ALL about $$$$. If not why would ATS and Redflex be trying to slit each others throats over the contract. Becasue of the amount of money THEY are about to make. How about this Leslie and Brittany et al., you guys stay home or in the far right lane and we can all pay an extra $20 a year for a special endoresment on our plate and drivers license and we can go 20-30 over.

    “Do you die any dead-er when you crash at 56 MPH”

  35. Jason says:

    Here’s a possible solution: If the photo radar is truly about safety, the government should put low-intensity flashing red and blue lights atop every photo-radar site to remind drivers to slow down. Those who ignore the lights take their chances with a ticket. Fair enough? Of course not. If the government did that, everyone would see the cameras and slow down, and the government’s revenue would dry up.

  36. [...] I pulled a stunt with my license plate a year ago because I was so disgusted by photo radar. They should just make the highways toll roads and be straight up about the motivation here. It’s projected that they’ll cover $90MM of a $165MM budget shortfall this year via the new highway photo radar “scameras.” How many accidents will occur during that time from the erratic braking of surprised motorists- and who will pay for those accidents? At the very least if we must live with photo radar, the for-profit entity that implements the cameras should not share in the recurring revenue generated by the cameras. As it stands now Redflex is incentivized to maximize the frequency and amounts of fines and lobby for measures that bolster the use of photo radar. [...]

  37. Dennis says:

    Underscore Sterno’s comments. Where did Nathan learn binary?

    Leslie: Get real. With the millions of citations issued, mostly just being paid or ruled on by some judge, who also works for the political system to collect revenue, you really don’t think that the fine line between a split-second at an intersection or a mile or two on the freeway isn’t calibrated to the side of the money, do you? Huge dollars on that fine line which most people won’t fight.

    I’ll try to abbreviate a long story, but I worked very hard to PROVE that a Mesa red light camera was slightly tweaked to the advantage of the for-profit company and the city. Yes, it’s true. At a recorded 41 mph (the speed of the traffic flow, I was six feet legal, more than the margin of error. I am a professional driver and I knew exactly where I was whenever the flash occurred. I went to the intersection, video’d numerous cars, measured distances, etc. to engineer charts and other hard evidence. Well prepared, I was waiting in the courtroom and was called out of the courtroom by an officer, who offered me the option of appearing or of the city to drop the whole case. Seems that my trips to the PD and the very rude “Traffic Violations Bureau” were noted and they decided that they had better drop the hot potato before establishing the precedent of case law of the judge’s ruling in the matter. It seems that “whenever they looked closer, they decided that I was legal, after all.”.

    Strangest damn thing . . .

  38. M.Trust says:

    The ‘active scanning’ cameras are
    blatantly un-constitutional police state technology.
    However, if they are noticeably different in appearance, we can just get a good pellet gun and cost them thousands of dollars.
    They’ll go broke with maintenance costs.. :)

  39. Endi says:

    Thank you Sean, its time for my California personalized plate to be changed. Appreciate the creativity!

  40. Dr.F says:

    PRSKS and a few others from above are exactly right. We are told that virtually everything that enslaves us, controls us, erodes our rights, and makes us ill (vaccines, for example) are for our SAFETY. What a crock. This has been done by many previous fascist states over the generations to grab more power and control over the common sheeple (like “Leslie” from above), who have been trained to obey even the most ridiculous or heinous of laws (actually “by-laws” and “statutes” would be more accurate).

    Sure, photo radar is partially about the revenue, but it is more about monitoring us in as many places and by as many means as possible. London, England is a great example as the average Londoner is on camera at least 350 times per day. But, notice when any major crime or killing happens (Princess Dianna assassination, or the guy shot and killed on the London Tube by the cops a few years back, or the so-called 9/11 terrorists at the airports) the cameras ARE NEVER WORKING!! What a great coincidence…

    Those “cameras” all over the PHX area are filming 24/7, not just snapping photos of crazy boy racers who might deserve to be fined. Driving the 51 to the I-10 is like driving a gauntlet, with sudden drops to 55MPH, driver’s slamming on brakes, super bright lights flashing in your eyes; it really is distracting and more dangerous than it was 5 years ago. The ability to track and monitor and eavesdrop on regular citizens is getting out of hand in this country, and has actually surpassed George Orwell’s “1984” in scope. Did you know your new HDTV is taking super high resolution video of you and your family as you sit stupidly in front of it. Oh, you thought our Federal Government just wanted us to watch our football in hi-def??!! Wake up to the purpose of all this tech.

    As an analogy, we are living in about the year 1942 in Nazi Germany without any exaggeration at all. The parallels are stunning. My question is not how to beat a lousy ticket, but how to beat the oppressors back. How to roll back the on-coming police state. How to wake up the sheeple. Those are the pressing issues, not getting a personal license plate…

  41. [...] Defeat Traffic Light Cams with an Ambiguous Vanity PlateIt might be worth a try. I wonder what 1l1lll1 will look like on my truck? [...]

  42. Izkata says:

    I know this is a very old article, but I have to say – to everyone saying that these cameras are calibrated for 12 mph or so over the speed limit: You're wrong, at least in some places.

    There are at least one or two in Illinois that will snap a picture of your plate if the light changes to yellow a split second before entering intersection (too late to slow down), while going at the speed limit.

  43. This is what I call creativity – thanks for the tipps ;-)…

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