March 8, 2015 8:40 pm
Updated: March 9, 2015 12:00 pm

Obscured license plates defy speed enforcement cameras

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REGINA – If you have a need for speed, it is going to start costing you.

Beginning Sunday, drivers rushing through speed enforcement zones will be issued tickets. That is unless your license plate cannot be read.

35,000 Saskatchewan drivers were caught speeding past the cameras in the last two months, during the grace period.

However, 45 per cent of those, or about 16,000 drivers, escaped without a warning letter because the pictures failed to definitively identify the license plate.

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Kelley Brinkworth with SGI said there are a number of reasons why plates are blocked.

“A plate could be obscured by just blowing snow, and especially when it’s melting and it’s really muddy it’s hard to keep that plate clean,” she said. “It does prevent the camera from taking a legible picture.”

According to Xerox, the company running the province’s speed enforcement cameras, the problem is common in western Canada, especially during winter months.

Regina Police know about the problem, and are urging motorists to clean off their license plates before starting their vehicles.

“It’s just going to deter the police from inadvertently pulling them over and causing them delays,” said Sgt. Colin Glas.

However, inconvenience is not the only deterrent for dirty plates.

“Underneath the Traffic Safety Act there is a section for obscuring your license plate and you could ultimately be issued a ticket for doing so,” said Glas.

A ticket like that will set you back $150.

There are also numerous websites selling products that claim to help prevent cameras from getting a clear picture of you plate, but police say those illegal devices aren’t especially problematic in Regina.

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