Lots of people are finding $30 tickets on their car when they park in Peninsula communities like San Carlos. They’re being accused of altering their license plates. Some people may indeed be altering license plates to prevent cameras from capturing information needed to collect tolls on bridges and highways or to evade red-light cameras. But that’s not everyone.
Because in many cases, California license plates aren’t aging very well. As years go by, a reflective material deteriorates and peels away. The license plates, as originally manufactured and issued by the DMV, may appear to be altered, but they’re not being altered by citizens, they’re being altered by time. Maybe weather conditions, as well, or a manufacturing defect. Maybe California should recall defective license plates.
People are complaining online about being unjustly accused and penalized. They’re stuck paying the $30 ticket and another $20 or more for new plates. They’re feeling victimized. For good reason, it seems, at a time when it’s so necessary to restore faith in government, law enforcement agencies and other institutions.