Did you know that there are now clear plastic license plate covers that mask your plate numbers from electronic scanners? Yeah — but use them at your own risk, because in New York it’s illegal to obscure a license plate on a public road.
NBCNewYork reports that some drivers are using products like the PhotoMaskCover, pictured above. It’s a translucent cover that polarizes light from certain angles, thus making it difficult for cameras to capture plate numbers. Some daredevils have been using these fancy things to evade tolls and run red lights.
“What they do is they direct the light at the plate and they obscure it from where they think the reader is going to be,” said George Washington Bridge security head and Port Authority Captain Ron Shindel. Shindel has already arrested at least 12 people in the past month for using the plate covers.
Although the company that makes them offers a “No Ticket Guarantee” and says they are “100% effective against photo radar,” it argues that there’s “nothing illegal” about the cover. In a statement to NBCNewYork, a company rep wrote:
“There is nothing illegal about a piece of plastic or license plate cover. The illegal part would be putting it on a vehicle that is on public roads where it is prohibited.”
Still, considering that determined officers can still find you by putting together the make, model, and any unmasked numbers, it doesn’t seem to be worth the effort. There are cooler ways to get arrested.