WARNING Pressed Metal Plates

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by flango, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. flango

    flango MB Club Veteran

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    A Heads up for you all and seeing as there is a group buy for the above in progress.

    This afternoon I took a customers E430 back to him after we had serviced it, during this journey I was stopped by one of our finest constabulary. He appeared at the window and enquired if I knew why he had stopped me. (I didn't have a clue) come and sit in my car and I'll tell you why, my heart sank what hideous crime had I committed?

    You have illegal number plates sir? No I don't I said. Sorry but I beg to differ came the reply.

    The car was fitted with pressed metal number plates, in the correct colour and correct font. He pointed the ANPR camera at the plate on the MB and it pinged back immediately "Unreadable" Pressed metal plates are illegal on the year of that vehicle sir (2002) Since when I said can you show me the relevent legislation, to which he took out his offence guide book and showed me clearly that Pressed Metal Plates on a 2002 car are definitely illegal, it was there in black and white along with all the other illegal number plate offences, italics etc and had the relevant legislation reference next to it under the column heading illegal.

    At this point I did not have a leg to stand on so held up my hands. He very kindly issued me a £60 fixed penalty and I was on my way a little dischuffed.

    On my return I thought I would check the facts on this just in case an appeal was in order. It was confirmed by a very experienced motoring lawyer that this indeed was an offence. The plate must be made of retroreflecting material, steel is not classed as a retroreflecting material even if painted, plates MUST be made of acrylic. I then further queried this with VOSA who again confirmed that a car with Pressed Metal Steel Plates even if BS kitemarked WOULD fail an MOT.

    So it cost me £60 to learn that lesson so thought I would share it.

    Under UK Law Pressed metal plates are illegal because they are not made of retroreflective material and also because the letters are not flat to the plate they cannot be read by ANPR and you will be stopped.

    Cheers
    Ian

    PS Happy to scan and post the ticket but offence is "Displaying illegal Number plates" relevant part of ticket below

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
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  2. The G.F.P

    The G.F.P Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    did you not tell him it was a customers car and that you were just delivering it?
     
  3. SPX

    SPX MB Club Veteran

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    Do we need to wear 3D glasses for that picture Ian? :D
     
  4. SPX

    SPX MB Club Veteran

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    Doesn't matter; you are driving the car so it is your responsibilty to make sure that it's roadworthy.
     
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  5. wemorgan

    wemorgan MB Club Veteran

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    During the daytime is the reflectiveness of a material enough to fool ANPR?

    I thought ANPR cameras were more sophisticated than that and could read even some illegal plates, more so if font, colour and spacing were still legal.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    flango

    flango MB Club Veteran

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    In answer to the questions

    It is the drivers responsibility to ensure it is roadworthy and legal irrespective of who owns the car.

    ANPR is not that sophisticated if the numbers are not flat on the plate and it is not retroreflective it cannot read it. He demonstarted it to me and explained fully. Retroreflective in daylight is important for that reason.
     
  7. OP
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    flango

    flango MB Club Veteran

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    sorry scanner not working so it was a photo, must have had one too many the night before :D
     
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  8. wemorgan

    wemorgan MB Club Veteran

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    I'm not doubting your experience......I'm just curious :)

    On TV (so it must be true) I've seen the police explain how cling film and nail varnish sometimes used by people to avoid ANPR is ineffective. I would have thought both of those coatings would affect the reflective and refraction properties too.
     
  9. Burger

    Burger Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    There is no law at all in the UK regarding the material from which a plate must be manufactured.

    SCHEDULE 2
    REQUIREMENTS FOR REGISTRATION PLATES

    PART 1
    VEHICLES REGISTERED AND NEW REGISTRATION PLATES FITTED ON OR AFTER 1ST SEPTEMBER 2001 (MANDATORY SPECIFICATION)

    1. The plate must be made of retroreflecting material which, as regards its construction, colour and other qualities, complies with the requirements of—

    (a)the British Standard specification for retroreflecting number plates published on 15 January 1998 under number BS AU 145d(1), or

    (b)any other relevant standard or specification recognised for use in an EEA State and which, when in use, offers a performance equivalent to that offered by a plate complying with the British Standard specification,

    and which, in either case, is marked with the number (or such other information as is necessary to permit identification) of that standard or specification.

    2. Where the registration mark is displayed on the front of the vehicle, it must have black characters on a white background.

    3. Where the registration mark is displayed on the back of the vehicle, it must have black characters on a yellow background.


    BS AU 145d talks about reflectivity and other factors but also does not require a plate to be made from a specific material.


    In your case it seems the policeman used his ANPR camera as an instrument for measuring the plates reflectivity and on that basis it failed and so probably was illegal, but this is NOT because of the material it's made of.


    Having said that, if police are going about with a little pocket book telling them pressed metal plates are illegal, even if wrong, it's simply not worth the hassle.


    Regards,
     
  10. OP
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    flango

    flango MB Club Veteran

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    It's point 1 that is the problem

    The plate must be made from retroreflecting material, Steel is NOT Retroreflecting.

    Secondly if the letters are raised from the surface it can make the plate Reflex Reflecting which is in contravention of the regulations.

    See THIS thread for the comments from my legal friends
     
  11. corned

    corned Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    You have undone your own argument in almost the first sentence!

    :thumb:
     
  12. developer

    developer MB Club Veteran

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    That's true, but a caution would have sufficed under these circumstances - another PC may have acted differently.

    I think the ticket was more to do with the PC than the offence. :(
     
  13. Burger

    Burger Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I saw your post on the other thread Ian, and as I said, I agree absolutely with you it's not worth the hassle, and certainly isn't going to be. However, point 1 has to be read with (a) or (b) and I would say (b) would be extremely difficult to police. The police here seem to believe all plates have to comply with the BS which clearly they don't.

    Steel on it's own is not retroreflecting but I don't believe acrylic is either. It's the backing on an acrylic plate that gives it the appropriate qualities. I don't know this though, just seems logical to me.

    As I said though, in my opinion, not worth the hassle - not that pressed metal plates do anything for me anyway :) I'm happy with my 'standard' acrylic ones.
     
  14. OP
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    flango

    flango MB Club Veteran

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    I know :), I'm just annoyed as I never considered it an issue when I drove the car. I think as Burger says it was probably a problem with reflectivity on the ANPR that caused the problem. I'm sure if it could have read the plates I would not have been stopped.
     
  15. corned

    corned Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I thought you said you were in Germany this week?

    :devil:
     
  16. d w124

    d w124 MB Club Veteran

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    I think the fine was overeaction.I was pulled for illegal plates and got of with a warning
    At the time it used to be £30 fine but the copper said,since I was a nice chap,use the £30 he saved me to get some legal ones
     
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  17. OP
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    flango

    flango MB Club Veteran

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    Was there Mon & Tues got back last thing Tues night. John is off work from the Motorsport business at the moment recovering from major abdominal surgery, so had to cut my trip short take some hols and grab the reigns.
     
  18. Palfrem

    Palfrem Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  19. E CLASS

    E CLASS Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Not surprised tbh.

    There are even worse offenders than you with mispaced lettering etc...

    Pressed metal is chavvy imo!
     
  20. wemorgan

    wemorgan MB Club Veteran

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    or German.......depends on your perspective :)
     

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