Fines for small plates

By MCN -

Riding Skills

 23 July 2010 17:15

Darren Izzard was riding home from a shopping trip when the boys in blue flagged him down.

“I pulled over and turned the bike off, removed my helmet and approached the officers with a friendly smile. I hadn't been speeding or riding aggressively so was a bit curious about the pull.” Said Darren.

“One officer engaged me in conversation and he accepted my reasoning about keeping my tax disc under the seat rather than on display, top guy!

"The second guy was already measuring my number plate and informed me it wasn't the correct size. (It has no slogans or borders, no dropped shadows or italics, just black digits on a yellow background).

"It is undersized by 1cm, and to be honest I forgot I still had it on! I apologised and explained it was used purely in keeping with the bike’s sporty appearance and not to try to evade capture. He accepted this but would still ticket me, (unendorsable, £30 fine).

"I removed my seat and took out my full sized plate I usually put on for MOTs to rectify my error. No such luck, he point blank refused to let me change it on the spot! Was I hard done by or should he have allowed me to sort it?”

A. The answer is that officers on patrol do have the discretion to give warnings etc, and operate within the spirit of the law, as they did with his tax disc.

But unfortunately they also have the letter of the law to work with, and the fact remains that Darren was committing an offence with the non-standard plate, though a £30 fine for a plate 1cm smaller doesn’t seem worth the potential aggro and I’d leave the standard one on.