Obscured license plates are illegal, dangerous, and on the rise

Examples of obscured license plates in Portland. (Photos by reader Tony T and Chris Thomas)

Have you noticed an increase in the amount of drivers using obscured license plates on their cars? We sure have. More and more people are trying to skirt the law — and avoid photo radar cameras — by making it hard to read their plates or removing them completely.

For obvious reasons, these are illegal. Oregon Revised Statute states clearly that, “A person commits the offense of illegal alteration or illegal display of a registration plate if… the plate has been altered, modified, covered or obscured in any manner… so as to render them unreadable.”

Speed and traffic signal photo radar cameras must be able to read a license plate to issue a citation. But getting caught obscuring your license plate is a Class B traffic violation in Oregon, and it will typically run you a lot less than a speeding ticket – that is, if you face any punishment at all.

In this unedited photo, you can see the difference between a plate with an illegal tint and a plate with no obstructions. (Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

It’s easy to find online tutorials for DIY tinted license plate screens (I won’t aid and abet this practice by linking to any of them, but they’re out there), and without more consequences, people aren’t going to suddenly stop doing this — especially as the City of Portland installs more speed and red light cameras.

“I don’t see any reason why this would be something that would need to be done by armed police officers. I think the parking enforcement officers solution is appealing.”

– Chris Thomas, attorney

Obstructed license plates do more than help people evade the authorities. If a car driver is involved in a hit-and-run, road rage incident, or other type of dangerous and/or illegal interaction with another road user, it’s nearly impossible to recall their license plate information if it’s obstructed.

Chris Thomas, an attorney at Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost (a BikePortland advertiser) who specializes in traffic law, shared photos on Twitter (at right) of obscured plates he’s come across recently and several people replied with even more examples.

In some ways, similar to untraceable ghost guns, these are ghost cars — practically invisible to law enforcement.

So, what can we do?

Putting more cops on the road might feel like the right response, but that’s complicated and fraught. Even if the Portland Police Bureau prioritized these type of infractions (which they don’t), traffic stops by armed individuals with militaristic training can result in serious trauma and harm, especially for people of color and other marginalized groups.

Some advocates think it would make more sense if Portland Bureau of Transportation parking enforcement officers handled this.

“I don’t see any reason why this would be something that would need to be done by armed police officers,” Chris Thomas told me. “It seems like a pretty binary thing. They’ve either got plates that are unobscured or they don’t. That’s why I think the parking enforcement officers solution is appealing, because these are people who are going around looking at cars parked in the street already.”

Thomas also pointed out that while citing obscured plates is currently outside the authority of parking enforcement as per City Code, unarmed parking enforcement officers can already issue citations for expired tags and missing plates. It reasons their jurisdiction could be expanded to include this.

Amending this code would make it possible to issue fines to people who obscure their plates under the parking enforcement umbrella, it would prevent direct police interactions, and would increase the effectiveness of our photo radar cameras. Portland Bureau of Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty is a big proponent on using non-police tactics to address transportation issues. She used traffic calming to reduce gun violence and dangerous driving in the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood earlier this year and successfully passed a bill in the recent legislative session to remove police oversight from the traffic camera citation process.

What do you think? Have you noticed more covered license plates recently, and do you have any other ideas about how to combat this problem? If you know someone who has their plates hidden, I’d be curious to know their rationale for doing so. And you should probably tell them why it’s such a bad idea.

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Chris I
Chris I
2 months ago

“I don’t see any reason why this would be something that would need to be done by armed police officers,” Chris Thomas told me. “It seems like a pretty binary thing. They’ve either got plates that are unobscured or they don’t. That’s why I think the parking enforcement officers solution is appealing, because these are people who are going around looking at cars parked in the street already.”

Is Chris Thomas volunteering to take the job where you, as an unarmed representative of the “gubment” has to pull over an F350 driver with a Sovereign Citizen bumper sticker and tell them they need to remove their illegal license plate cover?

pigs
pigs
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

“We should have teachers carry guns since a crazy might shoot up a school”
“Convenience stores should be armed in case they get robbed at gunpoint”

Your thinking is flawed and absurd to expect anyone to be safe in society is to be armed. Having a gun only escalates a situation.

Chris I
Chris I
2 months ago
Reply to  pigs

Both of your examples are different situations, and I disagree with both as examples where a gun would be required. If a convenience store owner wants to be armed, that would be their prerogative, of course.

If we are just going to place tickets on these vehicles while they are parked in the city, that can be done by an unarmed parking services (but it sounds like our city rules need to change first).

Traffic stops are a completely different situation, and carry significant risks for the government worker:
https://www.cnn.com/2022/01/28/us/traffic-stops-officers-attacked/index.html
The historic violence against police during traffic stops is one of the main reasons they are so potentially violent for victims of police today. Police are trained to treat these as potentially deadly encounters, because they can be.
https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.544.766&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Again, it’s easy to sit back and say that we should have unarmed government workers pulling over motorists for traffic or vehicle violations, but a lot harder to actually hire and retain people who would be willing to do that. Portland Street Response won’t get involved on calls where a weapon is seen. There are decent odds that a vehicle being pulled over has a weapon in it (5-10% on average), so why would we treat that any differently?

Paul
Paul
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

They shoot the police because the police have guns. 90% of the time anyone shoots someone it’s because the person they are shooting has a gun that the shooter is concerned about.

Tomas Paella
Tomas Paella
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

If you want to know how this will go down, read about the killing of an unarmed Clackamas County Weighmaster during a traffic stop in 2014:

Waxenfelter stopped an O’Malley Brothers Trucking rig near the corner of Highway 224 and Amissigger Road to talk to the driver about a lack of a license plate. Waxenfelter, who had started as a weighmaster in 2005, was shot in the head.

qqq
qqq
2 months ago
Reply to  Tomas Paella

The article never suggested that unarmed staff pull anyone over. They’d be leaving citations on windshields of parked cars.

“If you want to know how this will go down”, as you say, look at the instances of parking patrol staff being shot for citing people for expired tags, missing plates, or parking violations. If not non-existent, they’re at most so rare that nobody ever suggests that only armed police should be leaving parking tickets on windshields.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  qqq

I have no problem with giving parking tickets to vehicles without license plates, but it won’t make much of a dent in the problem.

If you’re serious about addressing the issue, you need to ticket people who are not parked downtown. Otherwise it’s just posturing.

Chris Thomas
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

Hi Chris I,

Portland parking enforcement officers, who are unarmed, are already authorized to issue citations for expired tags, missing plates, and so on. They are authorized to do so under the City code, and do so by inspecting parked vehicles, not by pulling people over. My suggestion is simply to expand their authority slightly to also authorize them to issue citations for obscured plates, which would be a relatively straightforward amendment.

Cheers,

Chris Thomas

Really?
Really?
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris Thomas

It seems you may have completely failed to address the point of Chris I’s point, Chris T.

Chris I
Chris I
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris Thomas

That’s a great idea, but it wouldn’t cover a good chunk of these illegal cars, because they don’t park in places where parking enforcement operates. Many are out of state drivers, just passing through (using surface streets to bypass interstate traffic).

Can parking enforcement ticket cars that are on private property (driveways, garages, apartment complex parking lots) in the city for violations like this? Will they be going into the greenspaces out by the airport that are full of these illegal vehicles? I’ve only ever seen cleanup crews out there accompanied by armed police, so I don’t think they would.

Tomas Paella
Tomas Paella
2 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

It’s important to note here that Sov Cit ideology isn’t reserved for white guys with pickup trucks. Remember that William Kinney III, who was at the center of the Red House saga is a follower of the “Moorish sovereignty doctrine”. Last time he was in the news progressives gave him $300k+ in crowdfunding and he also received an apology from the city.

So I guess it’s OK for some Americans to pretend laws don’t exist, but not others?
I’m sure someone here can demonstrate the mental gymnastics required to illustrate this.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
2 months ago
Reply to  Tomas Paella

You’d think he could afford the registration fees after that.

Alex
Alex
2 months ago

It seems like fines for obstructed plates are really low in other states ($50-100). I didn’t see a fine listed here – https://oregon.public.law/statutes/ors_803.550.

Honestly, it seems like it should be much higher than this – shouldn’t it be at least the cost of a speeding ticket or what’s the actual incentive to take it off?

Will
Will
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex

All vehicles fines should scale to income, and for things like this the automobile should be impounded.

Alex
Alex
2 months ago
Reply to  Will

Agreed – Norway does a great job at things like this. Was going to suggest impounding, as well, but changed my mind.

Anon
Anon
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex

As a Class B traffic violation, it looks like the default fine is $265: https://oregon.public.law/statutes/ors_153.019

The violation class for speeding varies, so the fine could be more or less: https://oregon.public.law/statutes/ors_811.109

Amit Zinman (Contributor)
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex

I’m not really in favor of impounding lots of cars. I believe that an owner of a car with covered or missing plates should have their license revoked until they pass a refresher DMV course.

J_R
J_R
2 months ago
Reply to  Amit Zinman

Haven’t you seen accounts of crashes, usually involving a drunk driver, who had previous convictions and was driving with a suspended license and no insurance? I’ve read plenty of them. Do you think a motorist who makes the effort to buy the parts to obscure a license plate and install them to avoid getting caught for breaking traffic laws is going to be persuaded to do the right thing by passing a refresher course?

Brad Park
Brad Park
2 months ago

These cars are terrifying. They remove what is often our only evidence linking a person to terrible crimes.
Given the large numbers of “proud boys” and allies behind this, we should use whatever “armed individuals with militaristic training” we have enforcing other traffic laws.
I’m not sure what a parking enforcement officer is going to do when the plates are gone entirely (which I’d seen less than a handful of times my whole life and now see regularly). Write a ticket for a parked car with no plates and VIN obscured or not readable? Tuck it under a wiper and hope for the best?

Amit Zinman (Contributor)
2 months ago
Reply to  Brad Park

In some countries the parking officers put a wheel lock on the offender’s car.

RipCityBassWorks
RipCityBassWorks
2 months ago
Reply to  Amit Zinman

Oh that would be AMAZING! Portland should unironically adopt that.

rick
rick
2 months ago

Didn’t Jo Ann on city council tell police to not pull people over for license plate infractions on motorcycles and SUVs and cars? There are so many expired license plate tags around the Portland area this year.

bbcc
bbcc
2 months ago
Reply to  rick

Ah yes, Jo Ann Hardesty famously has total control over the police department

M
M
2 months ago

No offense to Taylor, but, in all honesty, I don’t get why BP even bothers publishing these sort of articles when the party line you all have to toe is that law enforcement shouldn’t ever actually enforce the law.

qqq
qqq
2 months ago
Reply to  M

Do you realize the irony/ridiculousness of your writing “the party line you all have to toe is that law enforcement shouldn’t ever actually enforce the law” in response to an article about how best to enforce a law, which includes suggestions for how to enforce it?

Really?
Really?
2 months ago
Reply to  qqq

I can’t speak for M, but I don’t see anything ridiculous or ironic about their statement. I believe their point was entirely apropos.

qqq
qqq
2 months ago
Reply to  Really?

M claimed that “the party line you all have to toe is that law enforcement shouldn’t ever actually enforce the law”. in response to an article BP published that directly contradicts that party line.

The article in fact mentioned two different arms of law enforcement–police and parking enforcement–as possibilities for enforcing the law. That’s the exact opposite of what M claimed the “party line” was.

M’s “I don’t get why BP even bothers publishing these sort of articles” makes his party line claim even more dubious, because M is saying (correctly) that this article, which doesn’t toe the “no enforcement” party line, isn’t an anomaly, but instead is just one of several similar articles published here that don’t toe that line.

When BikePortland keeps publishing articles that don’t toe the party line that M claims exists–in other words, that DO recommend enforcement of laws–it’s pretty clear that that party line isn’t nearly as strong as M seems to think it is.

Chris I
Chris I
2 months ago
Reply to  qqq

The article is basically saying “we need to solve this problem” and then points out that we can’t use the best tool available to do so. Even if you change the city code, parking enforcement only operates in a limited number of places. Cars have to be parked on the street somewhere in the city. So they will miss any vehicles that park on private property, or in the Mad Max zones on the fringes. They will also miss any vehicles that are just passing through the city, or driving from private parking to private parking within the city.

Tomas Paella
Tomas Paella
2 months ago
Reply to  M

the party line you all have to toe is that law enforcement shouldn’t ever actually enforce the law

And that’s exactly why BikePortland publishes these articles: it’s to get word out there about what’s not politically correct to say or think. Think of it as an interference op to dissuade voters from enacting meaningful change.

To paraphrase: we all know it’s bad out there, but before you suggest common sense solutions that use the tools we already have– know that that is very problematic according to a very loud, but very small, collection of activists eager for Portland to continue its current direction of failure and decay.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago

I note that some of the images above are for plates from outside Oregon, so clearly other places aren’t enforcing the law either.

My own community of Greensboro NC requires license plates on all bicycles, by city statute. It’s clearly neither enforceable nor is the local police department willing to enforce it, nor do I know of any bicyclists willing to put a registration sticker let alone the required plate on their bicycle. Other communities have similar ordinances – my hometown of Grand Forks ND even successfully enforced such a law into the 1980s, until the labor and administrative costs outweighed all other benefits of having the program.

So I find it a wee bit ironic that I’m viewing such a story about obscured plates on cars and trucks, written by bicyclists who I’m guessing are not too eager themselves to have such plates put on their bikes, am I right? And why haven’t you inquired why both your local police and those from outside the area aren’t enforcing “the law”? Might it be because of the same reasons you aren’t using bike tags your self? Totally unenforceable? High administrative costs? Little positive benefit for the community? Makes your bike look ugly? Yeah, sure, the drivers of those trucks and cars could be involved in crashes, but so could you on your eBike, scratching and denting other vehicles, and yet you are somehow exempt from having a plate?

Steve C
Steve C
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Bikes =/= Cars

If people want to drive a car, get it registered, have insurance, and display the license plate. If not, ticket people into compliance or impound the vehicle.

Things are really breaking down if we can’t follow simple rules.

Alex
Alex
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

You don’t draw a distinction between the power and mass that a car has vs a cyclist?

The point here is that this is enforceable and the consequences and costs justify enforcement. You seriously think there is little positive benefit to the community for enforcing this for cars? You think scratching and denting vehicles is even close to the same as causing over 40k deaths a year alone in the US? Is this post a spoof? What’s your argument – that we shouldn’t be enforcing obstructed plates on cars?

Also, TIL that Grand Forks did something sensible once by stopping the enforcement of that law.

Matt
Matt
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

You don’t see the difference in the amount of damage inflicted by bikes versus the amount of damage inflicted by cars, and immediately find your own argument laughable? Then I seriously question your mental faculties.

Nicholas
Nicholas
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

It’s to help prevent bike theft.

ivan
ivan
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

Is this snark? I honestly can’t tell.

Even if the risks of driving an unlicensed bicycle was somehow comparable to driving an unlicensed motor vehicle — and it obviously, blindingly isn’t — Portland doesn’t have this law for bicycles. I don’t particularly care what Greensboro or Grand Forks do. What a bizarre, tedious way to sealion into this conversation.

David Hampsten
David Hampsten
2 months ago
Reply to  ivan

You are right, it doesn’t.

From the BMP 2030 (pages F-8 & F-9), written in 2010:

Taxing bicycle sales
This is one of several suggestions that have at their heart the notion that bicyclists should pay for some part of the bicycling system. Although Oregon has no statewide sales tax, municipalities may levy sales taxes. A direct tax on bicycle-specific products could generate revenue and create a clear connection to the tax’s beneficiaries to demonstrate that bicyclists help pay for transportation infrastructure. An argument against such a tax, or any other charge on bicyclists, is that it may discourage bicycling by making it too expensive. A tax on bicycles or bicycling products could also adversely affect Portland’s bicycle industry.

A bicycle tax has precedents, both in Portland and elsewhere. In 1899, Multnomah County passed legislation that included a bicycle tax to fund bicycle paths. More recently, Colorado Springs, Colorado funded their bicycle master plan with over $100,000 collected from a $4 citywide tax on all purchases of new bicycles.

Licensing bicyclists or registering bicycles
Licensing bicyclists or registering bicycles is a way to involve bicyclists directly in paying for the bicycling system. Licensing bicyclists could also serve as a means to ensure bicyclists are aware of traffic laws and their responsibilities. Similar to bicycle registration, licensing of bicyclists is likely to be costly to administer in comparison to the revenue generated, and both mechanisms have the potential to discourage bicycling. In the 2009 Oregon legislative session, HB 3008 would have levied a biennial $54 registration fee on adult bicycles, a proposal that was received unfavorably by Oregon’s bicycling community and never made it out of committee.

Alex
Alex
2 months ago
Reply to  David Hampsten

> Licensing bicyclists or registering bicycles is a way to involve bicyclists directly in paying for the bicycling system. 

You don’t think cyclists pay directly for the bicycling system? You should look to see who pays for the roads – it’s not just the drivers. It’s funny that you think licensing bicycles is worth the money – it’s not. There is a reason even a right-wing city like GF, ND with very, very few cyclists and almost 0 bike commuters decided to quit doing it (and, yes, I have spent quite a bit of time in that city and have bought a number of bikes there).

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Alex

Who, exactly, pays for Oregon’s roads, if not drivers? Look at ODOT’s budget — it’s almost all driving/vehicle derived money.

So yes, cyclists to pay for Oregon’s roads… when they drive or purchase goods that were shipped by truck.

Steve C
Steve C
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

23% of the 2021-2023 ODOT budget came from the federal government. The federal gas tax has long been insufficient to service these obligations and general fund transfers have been required for many years.

When you pay federal income tax, regardless of your personal use of roads, you pay for those roads.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Steve C

The federal government pays states from the highway trust fund, which, last I checked, was still funded from the gas tax. True, we have started putting some general revenue into it, but at least of a year or two ago, we hadn’t spent it. A small amount of general fund money may be trickling down to states now, or it may not. But even if it is, it’s peanuts compared to the vehicle-derived sources.

I can think of plenty of stronger arguments for sharing the road than “my income tax pays for them,” even if it were true on any meaningful level.

Steve C
Steve C
2 months ago
Reply to  Watts

True, we have started putting some general revenue into it”

That’s an understatement. Just this fiscal year we have put $90 Billion into the fund.

We have transferred well over $215 Billion (29% of total revenue) into the federal highway trust fund since 2008.

Let’s Active
Let’s Active
2 months ago

As someone working to implement tolling in this region, I am definitely concerned about the impacts on the toll system from people covering up their plates. Tolling will provide even more incentive to do this.

Boyd
Boyd
2 months ago

This only makes sense if the parking enforcement people are going to boot, immobilize, and ultimately tow and impound these vehicles when they encounter them. There is no regular parking enforcement patrol that is out driving around and enforcing laws on moving vehicles. The parking enforcement vehicles that PBOT currently has are not equipped to pull over vehicles that traveling on the street.

If they go with the immobilization/impound route, the cost of recovering a vehicle should exceed the cost of a speeding violation.

Will
Will
2 months ago
Reply to  Boyd

When I lived in Chicago, parking enforcement was not to be messed with. They’d go from ticket to boot in a heartbeat

Watts
Watts
2 months ago

Putting more cops on the road might feel like the right response

It is the right response. As you say, the issue is pretty binary, so avoiding a stop is trivial.

Enforcing license plate issues only against those who park downtown seems like pretty weak sauce.

I do not value the right of people to drive without a license plate more than I do the public safety benefit of having cars be identifiable.

J_R
J_R
2 months ago

Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, serial killer Ted Bundy, Randy Kraft, the California strangler, William Suff, serial killer, and Joel Rifkin, another serial killer, were all apprehended in traffic stops. I’m sure they all would have meekly accepted a ride to jail from an unarmed parking and traffic enforcement officer.

rick
rick
2 months ago
Reply to  J_R

Yes. A parking ticket was a key part in being able to track down David Richard Berkowitz and use armed police to arrest him for murders. The Portland area needs a lot more police and parking ticket enforcement. Wayne Williams was also stoped in a traffic stop and sent to prison for murder. Interstate killer Larry Eyler was once stopped in a traffic stop and later arrested and sent to prison for murder.

J_R
J_R
2 months ago

About half the Teslas in Portland and a substantial portion of other expensive cars (Corvettes and Porsches among them) seem to be driving around with no front license plate. I guess it spoils the aesthetics or the aerodynamics. Or maybe it’s just because the law only applies to stupid, little people.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  J_R

The law doesn’t apply to anyone, at the moment.

PS
PS
2 months ago
Reply to  J_R

Since you have your finger on the pulse of license plate infractions, which percentage of Nissan Altimas have no license plates at all and why is it 100%?

Frank Perillo
Frank Perillo
2 months ago

And of course we can’t expect the houseless folks driving their unsafe, unregistered, and uninsured vehicles to be compliant with this either.

Chris I
Chris I
2 months ago
Reply to  Frank Perillo

Do you need to have legal plates when driving a motor vehicle on a multi-use trail? Asking for some friends.

Matti
Matti
2 months ago

Speaking of obscure parts of cars, how about the extreme obscure tinted windows in many vehicles these days? Oregon law limits the degree of tint that can be used, but it seems that this is regularly ignored. Blacked out windows in a vehicle prevent vulnerable road users approaching an intersection from seeing whether a cross street driver is paying attention and makes proceeding into the intersection very uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. I suggest that all DEQ/DMV inspections include checking to insure that window tint does not exceed the maximum allowed.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago
Reply to  Matti

What we need are regular safety inspections.

Boyd
Boyd
2 months ago
Reply to  Matti

Agree on the window tint. It would be nice if inspections checked for functioning brakes, lights, turn signals, horn, bumper, wheel tread, and actually measured emissions at the tail pipe instead of just plugging into the OBD2 port. It would also be nice if heavy trucks and old cars were subject to emissions testing.

Matt
Matt
2 months ago
Reply to  Matti

I was once assaulted by a guy driving a car with heavily tinted back windows. No license plate. He did seem to have a temporary registration slip in his back window… which was illegible due to the window tint.

Nicholas
Nicholas
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt

Criminals have dark windows so you can’t ID them

todd/boulanger
todd/boulanger
2 months ago

Taylor, thanks for doing this article on an important traffic safety and personal accountability issue. And per the idea of having Portland parking do enforcement is a good one BUT leaves 80% of the state unenforced…assuming you travel on state highways and park in private lots. Just as private parking facilities have posted rules, they should add this one too…since they cannot enforce or manage these “ghost vehicles”.

rick
rick
2 months ago
Reply to  todd/boulanger

The Parking Wars tv show did show parking enforcement officers issuing tickets to people in off-street car parking lots around 2011 in the northeast part of the USA.

todd/boulanger
todd/boulanger
2 months ago

PSU TREC students…hey this might be a great public survey question to pivot on, as I strongly assume those always saying “bicyclists should pay taxes / have licenses” are more likely to be operating “ghost vehicles”…it could be a good “check question” to probe why and what they believe in …

Matt S.
Matt S.
2 months ago

I don’t renew my registration in silent protest against the fact that nothing is being done about this issue. Why should the people that can be penalized? You know nothing is going to happen to the person camping out of their car — no plates, no registration, no insurance, no driver license. Cops just drive right past. I won’t pay my registration again until something is done about this.

Matt
Matt
2 months ago
Reply to  Matt S.

If you’re the first one to be ticketed for this, will you still feel you’ve proven your point?

Champs
Champs
2 months ago

How would Parking Enforcement ticket a vehicle with no plate?

rick
rick
2 months ago
Reply to  Champs

By the vin number and making a call back to the office to see if it warrants a boot due to unpaid tickets or is a vehicle that was involved in a criminal case.

James N.
James N.
2 months ago

Out in East Portland we have a lot of cars, that I see over and over, with no plates and no temporary permit. They are the ones weaving in and out of traffic and driving over curbs. Absolute chaos. I wonder what would happen if they tried that shit in Eastmoreland instead.

ralph
ralph
2 months ago

This is troublesome. If it isn’t a moving violation then parking patrol can ticket. On top of that, let’s use the “safety corridor” logic, so that anyone getting a moving violation (speeding, running a red light, etc) would have it DOUBLED if having obscured plates. I don’t notice many plate covers in other states. It is no secret that Oregon is piss poor at enforcing nearly anything. Chances are scofflaws will get away with whatever they are scoffing!

RipCityBassWorks
RipCityBassWorks
2 months ago

Fines for obstructed plates need to be higher. I agree with PBOT being in charge of enforcement: why in the world would you need a heavily armed cop for an obstructed plates? Use the right tool for the job.

Watts
Watts
2 months ago

You need an armed cop so the PBOT employee doesn’t get shot.

JR
JR
2 months ago

I don’t understand why we have any rules that aren’t going to be enforced. Whether that is by parking enforcement or vastly improved police force makes no difference if the outcome is the same. I see just as many missing plates, expired tags, and jalopies spewing toxic fumes due to lack of maintenance. We supposedly have rules against those things too. Traffic enforcement in this city is currently nonexistent and it makes me feel unsafe while driving, walking or biking.

Bob Murphy
Bob Murphy
2 months ago

Ever since the PPB work stoppage started in 2020 I’ve seen a tremendous number of cars without plates of any kind whatsoever and I’m pretty sure none of these people are just honest folks trying to get by because they all drive like maniacs and/or engage in menacing and harassing behavior.

Like OK, if your tags are expired, you deserve some grace since the Oregon DMV is a hostile shitshow. Once you remove your plates? You may as well have submitted an affidavit to the court affirming your intention to commit rampant felonies.

The other thing I’ve been seeing more and more lately are the fake moorish sovereign citizen plates. Equally or more of a menace since they’re straight up delusional.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
2 months ago

We all know this will devolve into an argument about intersectionality and systemic racism.

Chopwatch
Chopwatch
2 months ago

The crumminess of PBOT is underreported. In June 2022, a trash filled, busted steering column, Pontiak Aztek was seen on SE Stephens St between SE 38th and Cesar Chavez with a license plate associated with a Chevrolet Celebrity, an unmistakably different vehicle. There was also a green tow warning dated June 2021.

I really don’t know the sequence of events that lead to this, but how the green tow warning on the Pontiac’s window had tow warning with the Chevy’s plate that the car was fitted with at the time. What came to mind was. doesn’t PBOT check for things like making sure the VIN/plate match when they do any sort of interaction like this? Perhaps there was something more nefarious happening… or perhaps I am overestimating the competency of the PBOT bureau.

Kevin G
Kevin G
2 months ago

…and then there are the vehicles with no visible license whatsoever. I see those pretty frequently..

It certainly suggests a virtually complete absence of enforcement.

bojack
2 months ago

“She used traffic calming to reduce gun violence and dangerous driving in the Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood earlier this year”

Utterly delusional.

rick
rick
2 months ago

A traffic stop saved a different woman’s life in Maryland. A cop pulled over a person driving an SUV that had a headlight that wasn’t working. A horrific car crash took place seconds later as a different person made a choice to drove at least 110 mph and slam into a different person stopped in their van at a nearby red light.

https://www.fox5dc.com/news/montgomery-county-cop-woman-he-pulled-from-burning-vehicle-have-emotional-reunion.amp