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There are still dealership ads where license plates should go

Q. Honk: I know the law says when you buy a new car from a car dealer it is now required to get issued temporary license plates and place them on the front and rear of the vehicle. I have seen several cars on the freeway with dealer advertisements where the plates should go, the kind you used to see on all new cars before the new law took hold. Is law enforcement pulling people over who have these dealership paper plates? Would you get a fix-it ticket?

– Roy Miyaji, Cypress

A. Honk doesn’t know how often motorists get pulled to the curb for having an advertisement back there rather than a license plate, but he knows it does happen.

The new law requiring a temporary or permanent plates took effect on Jan. 1, 2019. If you get a warning, a fix-it ticket or a full-blown, more-costly ticket depends on the circumstances and the officer.

“It’s always officer’s discretion,” said Ian Hoey, an officer and spokesman for the California Highway Patrol in the Sacramento headquarters. “Am I going to stop the guy without a plate, or the guy who just blew past me going 90?”

After pulling over a driver with a dealership advertisement instead of a plate, or no plate at all, the officer will likely ask the reason for the omission and then decide the penalty.

“It’s going to depend on the totality of the situation,” Hoey said.

Honk thought he would check in with your city, Roy, to see if Michael Wintersole agreed with him that there sure doesn’t seem to be many missing rear plates out there. The traffic sergeant for Cypress, he says vehicles without them are indeed about.

“Oddly, there are enough to keep us occupied,” he said.

Q. I was going west on Highland Avenue in the city of Highland and stopped at a light. Light changed and I drove on. A police vehicle behind me flipped on the police lights and I pulled over. He told me he could not see my brake lights and gave me a fix-it ticket. I asked if I could get out and put a stick to hold the pedal down and we could cup a hand over a light to prove him wrong. He said to stay in vehicle – so now I have to deal with this. I have an older car; sometimes the sun can create a problem with seeing the brake lights. How should one handle this?

– K.R. McClelland, San Bernardino

A. Go to the nearest California Highway Patrol office, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and get it signed off.

Some police agencies might only sign off fix-it citations that were issued by them, or if you live in that town, or they might charge you.

The CHP views the signing-off of citations as a public service.

An officer will walk out to ensure the violation has been corrected and sign the citation so you can forward it to the court no matter where you received it in the state – and not charge you. However, expect a court fee, maybe $25.

“We sign it no matter where the ticket was issued,” said Tino Olivera, an officer and spokesman with the CHP.

Now, K.R., to sign it, the officer will consider whether the brake lights are bright enough to be safe, or if you need to indeed somehow fix them.

Honk needs all of the readers he can get – stay safe, K.R.

Honkin’ fact: There were 30.8 million vehicles registered in California in 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Of those, 842,543 were motorcycles and 99,917 were buses. That year, state officials said, the population was 39.6 million.

To ask Honk questions, reach him at honk@ocregister.com. He only answers those that are published. To see Honk online: ocregister.com/tag/honk. Twitter: @OCRegisterHonk


Source: Orange County Register

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