License plate covers could soon be illegal

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX - If you have a cover on your license plate to avoid photo radar tickets you may soon be breaking the law.

The state legislature is one step closer to banning anything that obscures license plates.

In the battle to stop speeders the state has armed itself with dozens of flashing photo radar cameras, but to counter the cameras many motorists have put reflective plastic or film over their plates.

They can be bought online for around $20.

Jenny Camacho tells us it was her husband who put a plastic barrier over her plate.

She doesn't think the covers should be banned and with a mounting budget deficit she feels the legislature has more pressing matters to work on.

"It seems like they should be concentrating on bigger issues than license plate covers," she said.

Senator Ken Cheuvront introduced the bill and said the ban is not just because of photo radar.

"It inhibits the ability of a police force to be able to very quickly ascertain whether the vehicle was stolen or whether there is somebody in there that has done a crime," he said.

For example he feels the plate covers could interfere with finding a child after an Amber Alert.

“Many times it’s the public out there who are able to look at a license plate and find out whether or not there is a child who has been abducted in the car,” Cheuvront said.

There is already a statue in Arizona that says you can’t make the letters on your license plate unreadable. The debate is over whether or not the license plate covers make plates unreadable. If the bill is passed the debate effectively will be put to rest.