#663: Dazzleplates

Driving over the speed limit is always just plain wrong.

Having said that, populating the countryside with speed cameras (or ‘safety cameras’ as they are being euphemistically redubbed) fills me with concern.

As I understand it, it’s illegal to obscure one’s numberplate in any way. Today’s invention offers a low-cost way to avoid having your car’s movements identified automatically, without obscuring or defacing your plates.

Three number plates are fitted on top of each other at both ends of the vehicle, so that the front one is correctly fixed, but the other two are free to rotate about opposite corner screws, as shown. The rear two are hacked about so as to present an irregularly-shaped, low contrast background to the numbers and letters.

Numberplate recognition software therefore has a real problem, since it is based on locating regular rectangular plates rapidly enough to allow that region to be searched for characters. This makes the plates, with visually-disrupted outlines, only identifiable by officers of the law, not machines.

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