How to hide the license plate from video cameras and is it legal?

State license plates and different ways to get away from the cameras

Good day Dear readers! This article is about possible options for installing state registration plates on vehicles, about what means are used by drivers to hide their state numbers from the traffic police cameras and the liability of the driver in case of violation of the approved technical requirements.

And so, article 12.2 of the CAO RF provides for administrative responsibility for:

1. Driving a vehicle with illegible, non-standard or installed in violation of the state standard state registration plates, except for the cases stipulated by paragraph 2 of this article – shall entail a warning or an administrative fine of five hundred rubles.

2. Driving a vehicle without state registration plates, as well as driving a vehicle without state registration plates installed in the places provided for this purpose, or driving a vehicle with state registration plates equipped with materials preventing or complicating their identification – shall entail an administrative fine in the amount of five thousand rubles or deprivation of the right to drive vehicles for a period from one to three months

3. Installation on a vehicle of knowingly false state registration plates – shall entail the imposition of an administrative fine on citizens in the amount of two thousand five hundred rubles; on officials responsible for the operation of vehicles – from fifteen thousand to twenty thousand rubles; on legal entities – from four hundred thousand to five hundred thousand rubles. Comparing paragraph 1 and paragraph 2 of this article we can see the difference in the liability envisaged for the driver for violation of state standard requirements (paragraph 1 – warning or imposition of an administrative fine in the amount of five hundred rubles) and for driving a vehicle with state registration plates, equipped with materials that prevent or hinder their identification (respectively paragraph 2 of the article – entails imposing an administrative fine in the amount of five thousand rubles or deprivation of freedom of speech).

As we see, the responsibility of drivers for seemingly identical violations is toughened by paragraph 2 of article 12.2 of the CAO RF. In order to understand this issue and determine the difference we need to refer to the State Standard for the installation of license plates on a car.

Approved by the Decree of the State Standard of Russia dated June 29, 1993 N 165 (Date of entry 01.01.1994). State Standard of the Russian Federation presents Requirements for the installation of state registration plates on vehicles (Annex I). According to this requirement, each vehicle must have:

1) Places of installation of registration plates. – one front and one rear – on cars, trucks, trucks and buses; – one rear – on other vehicles.

2) The front registration plate must be mounted on the axis of symmetry of the vehicle. It is allowed to mount the front registration plate on the left of the axis of symmetry of the vehicle in the direction of movement of the vehicle.

3) The registration plate must be placed perpendicular to the longitudinal plane of symmetry of the vehicle with a possible deviation of no more than 3 degrees.

4) The registration plate shall be installed in such a way that it can be read in darkness from a distance of at least 20 meters under the illumination of a regular lantern(s) of the vehicle sign. Note: This requirement does not apply to the inscriptions “RUS” and “TRANSIT”, as well as the image of the Russian Federation national flag.

5) It is allowed to mount signs with frames. Bolts, screws and frames must not obscure or distort the inscription “RUS” or the image of the Russian Federation national flag on the registration plate.

6) The registration plates must be securely fastened throughout their validity period using frames or other transitional structural elements.

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1) The registration plates must not reduce the angles of the front and rear overhangs of the vehicle, cover the exterior lights and lightsignals, protrude beyond the side dimension of the vehicle.

2) Drilling additional holes on the registration plate for mounting the plate on the vehicle or for other purposes is prohibited. If the coordinates of mounting holes of the registration plate do not coincide with the coordinates of mounting holes of the vehicle, the plates shall be mounted through transitional structural elements.

Approved by the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation dated September 10, 2009 № 720 the Technical Regulations on the safety of wheeled vehicles additionally provides:

1) The state registration plate must be visible in the space limited by four planes forming angles of visibility of at least: up – 15°, down – 0…15°, left and right – 30° (see figure).

1) The letters, numerals, the border, the inscription “RUS”, as well as the image of the State Flag of the Russian Federation on the state registration plate may be obscured by bolts, screws of the frame.

2) It is not allowed to cover the state registration plate with organic glass or other materials.

From all the above it is possible to draw the following conclusion: If on your car the state registration plates are installed according to the State standards but because of dirt on the road or precipitation they became unreadable this offence falls within the scope of paragraph 1 of Article 12.2 of the CAO. However, if your registration plate is covered by organic glass or other materials, as a result of which it became unreadable, this offense falls under the scope of paragraph 2 of Article 12.2 of the CAO RF, the penalty provided for violation of this paragraph is significantly stricter.

Now let’s talk in more detail about how to hide numbers from traffic police cameras, what tricks drivers resort to and what may be the penalty for this offense. Dirty license plates

Some drivers use this violation as a means of protecting license plates from traffic police cameras. Inexpensive, a fine of only 500 rubles or a warning, in addition, it is very difficult to prove the driver’s intent. However, some cameras can still read the license plate, even when it is badly soiled. If the cameras can’t read one or two letters and/or numbers, the license plates are manually checked against the database and the necessary symbols are already obvious. Therefore, although this is the cheapest way, it is also the most unreliable. We talked about it in more detail in the article “fine for dirty license plates”. There the fines and how to behave with the inspector if your car is stopped are described.

All other ways of hiding license plates from the cameras are punished very severely. Paragraph 2 of Article 12.2 of the Russian Federation Code of Administrative Offences:

2. Driving a vehicle without state registration plates, as well as driving a vehicle without state registration plates installed in the places provided for this purpose, or driving a vehicle with state registration plates equipped with materials preventing or complicating their identification – shall entail an administrative fine in the amount of five thousand rubles or deprivation of the right to drive vehicles for a period from one to three months

Installation of all kinds of nets

A very widespread earlier method. The thing is that even if you install a transparent cover plate or different light filters, this violation will be qualified under Article 12.2 part 2 of the CAO RF.

At first glance, quite an interesting method. If you are driving at 50 km/h, the license plate stays in place. If you are driving at 100 km/h, the plate will simply fold due to the force of the wind. However, if a traffic police officer will fix the fact that your plate is hidden, it will be easy to bring you to justice under paragraph 2 of Article 12.2 of the CAO RF.

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Use of flipping license plates

Example: If you are driving at 50 km/h your license plate stays in place and if you drive at speeds over 100 km/h the plate is facing downwards. As mentioned earlier, technological progress does not stand still. Video cameras are installed both above the carriageway (lamp post or traffic light) and above the height of a man. The variant of installation of electric springs to the speedometer of the car is offered for drivers, in case of movement with speed more than 100 km/h these springs deflect a number in figures downwards as employees of GIBDD still did not learn to establish in a covering of a road cloth – probably an effective way, but also this variant does not approach, as enough to fix this fact the camera located for example on a column of a traffic light, here will be a part 2 articles 12.2 of the Administrative Offences Code of the Russian Federation.

Use of infra-red lights (for example: in a number frame)

An interesting way for drivers. In darkness, the camera with the standard settings for exposure (the brightness of the picture is selected automatically, depending on the illumination of the frame at the time of photographing) is possible to fool (in this case, your number simply will be impossible to identify), but when using a different camera settings (the brightness of the photo formed from the average light) this method becomes irrelevant (in photos using such settings clearly visible number and two white infra-red lights)

Modern video cameras can distinguish not only the inverted numbers and letters on the license plates, but also read different license plates (if your car will have two different license plates installed at the same time). The Administrative Offence Code of the Russian Federation provides for a more severe liability for this offence (Author’s note).

Use of various paints, reflective paints

To consider this example, it is necessary to refer to the principle of video cameras. The fact is that they work in the same spectrum of visibility as the eye of the traffic inspector. Applying these materials will not interfere with the readability of your license plate.

Using extra stickers on your license plate

Some people suggest taping one letter or digit of the license plate. The fact is that from a legal point of view, this is a very risky way. If the traffic policeman stops you with taped-up plates, he states this fact in the prescribed manner, there is no doubt about it – part 2 of Article 12.2 of the CAO RF, in the court it will be very hard for you to prove that this was done without intent.

Magnetic License Plate Frame

There is an electric magnetic license plate frame. There is a magnet under the license plate and a small metal plate that covers part of the digits is attached on top of the plate. When you see a traffic police officer, you can press a button in the cabin, the magnet stops working and the metal part that covers the numbers simply falls off. It seems like a great way, but should the inspector captured all this on camera and a fine of 5000 rubles or deprivation of you can not avoid.

Barrier Frames for License Plate Protection

A frame-blind which is activated from the salon. Completely covers the plate. We have all seen these frames more than once, the inspectors even more. Perhaps one of the most dangerous ways, as the frame is not dismantled quickly and the inspector is not difficult to prove the driver’s intent.

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From all you’ve read we can conclude, that it’s not so easy to hide from the video cameras. All the ways have long been known to almost any inspector, any traffic police crew has a video camera, just get in its field of view and a serious fine you can not avoid. Do not break the law, respect other traffic participants, and try to splash out your emotions on the track, if such is available in your city.

Camera developers have shown how drivers hide license plates. Examples and photos

Traffic cameras are getting smarter and learning to recognize new traffic violations. To avoid fines, drivers come up with new tricks and try to cheat the devices. The majority of tricks are illegal, but it doesn’t scare the drivers. The developers of modern complexes and representatives of the Moscow Traffic Management Center (TMCC) have analyzed popular cheating methods and showed how the cameras react to them.

Unusually shaped license plates

All modern cameras are able to recognize license plates of any shape and even placed in a non-standard way, explained in the traffic center.

“In Moscow, all cameras recognize any license plate: square, mounted with an inclination and so on. Therefore, it makes no sense to try to trick the cameras in any way,” the traffic police warned, providing several examples, including square and “dangling” license plates.

Deformation of the license plate

Drivers sometimes do not change bent license plates on purpose. Such deformation, which leads to partial distortion of the characters, can occur after an accident. Also such damage can often be seen on trucks – when the tailgate is tilted, it hits the plate. Cunning drivers decide to leave such plates to confuse the cameras and avoid possible fines.

The geometry of the symbols is distorted. This makes it difficult to recognize the letter-and-digit combination of the license plate. Such license plate damage is the most common in trucks and construction vehicles.

The geometry of the symbols is distorted. This makes it difficult to recognize the letter-and-digit combination of the license plate. This license plate damage is most common in trucks and construction vehicles.

“Any distortion can potentially lead to errors, especially such problems were relevant from about 2010 to 2016, when no neural networks were used yet,” Sergey Kusov, a representative of Recognition Technologies, told – However, to date, neural networks have already passed through a huge number of combinations and possible modifications of license plates.

As a result, according to the expert, the problem with errors gradually receded: neural networks learned to understand and complete combinations, and also receive information from several frames, which were made at fixation.

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“Such license plate distortion as in the example, the cameras did recognize without error, although this is the most problematic example. Numbers and letters here are “floating”, they have changed their geometric structure, – explained Kusov. – But it is important to understand that if the neuronet still fails to recognize the number, there is always a second one. After all, control is now carried out in several directions, and the range of cameras has expanded from one or two rows to several lanes at once.”

The license plate on a non-standard place

Some drivers think that it is possible to confuse the camera by moving the license plate from its standard place to the side or by fixing it tilted to the right or to the left. However, according to Kusov, the unusual location of the license plate will not confuse the camera.

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After an accident, the plastic plate affixed to the bumper of the vehicle breaks off. That's why the car owner fixed it where he could. In addition, the license plate was dirty.

After the accident the plastic cover of the bumper with a place for the license plate was torn off. That’s why the car owner fixed it where he could. In addition, the license plate was dirty.

“This example shows that the plate is badly damaged, the license plate is broken and deformed. Under magnification, you can see that the letter “U” has floated. The end of the letter starts to blur, – Kusov deconstructed the example. – Dirt on the license plate might make the situation even worse. In that case, we lose the symbol – then the neural network either completes it, or puts a “star”. But most often, when the number is more or less clean, there is no problem. And here you can see that the license plate is shabby and crumpled, but it is still recognized correctly”.

Plate at an acute angle

One more motorists’ trick is to place the license plate at an acute angle. That is, the plate is attached to the car in a bent position. The drivers try to find the fine line here, so the strange plate position won’t attract attention of the traffic inspector. After all, any manipulations with the plate and its movement is forbidden.

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Familiar to developers of cameras trick of some drivers in an attempt to hinder the recognition of the plate. In the picture you can see that the license plate is placed at an acute angle, which distorts the region code.

Grigory Shukhman, an expert in the field of photo-video registration, believes that the cameras can cope with recognition, but the accuracy of speed detection may be questionable.

“For recognition, the most important thing is that the software can distinguish the symbols and that they are readable,” Shukhman explained in a conversation with – But to measure speed optically, you have to measure the size of the sign in the photo, estimate its height above the road and calculate the distance from it to the camera accordingly. When the dimensions and geometry of the sign conform to the standards, it is not a problem. If, however, the geometry is broken, then there is a problem of correct measurement. That’s why, by the way, there is no problem with square license plates for cameras – if they hang correctly, the speed will also be calculated correctly”.

The license plate looks up

Sometimes drivers install the frame so that license plates look upwards. As the manufacturers assure, such tricks most often do not work either.

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The angle of license plate suspension is changed during installation. The plate is semi-recumbent, but for a stationary complex of photo-video fixation such a position does not create difficulties in its identification.

“In this case, everything turned out perfectly for the camera, – commented Kusov. – The license plate here is heavily blocked. The traffic police inspector on the road, could not read such a number. – And for the camera the license plate was in the perfect horizon, it was like a sheet to read. And the fact that the license plate is double-line does not matter for us, the camera easily recognizes everything.

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The license plate was hanging up crookedly

“The license plate is hung at an odd angle and unevenly, there are also artifacts in the form of fasteners and bolts, which can introduce obscurity in bad lighting conditions, or if the license plate is dirty, – analyzed another example Kusov. – A neural network may read these symbols incorrectly. But if there is good illumination and no ‘interfering’ factors, the cameras will cope with this task as well.

Rubbed out license plates

White-rubbed license plate characters will not be a problem for the cameras, according to the company “Recognition Technologies”. Of course, with a reservation for good weather conditions. In addition to the ability to complete the unreadable signs, the cameras are helped by a completely utilitarian thing – in Russia, plates with license plates must have a relief.

“Convexity, a kind of relief, creates an additional degree of protection, adding the right contrast. The human eye may not recognize it, but the camera will. That is why you need a permit for license plate mounting – the plates are made according to the state standards, which are prohibited to violate,” specified Kusov. – Of course, there are conditions of poor visibility, overlighting, but all manufacturers face that problem”.

In Russia, the license plate must have relief.” />

In addition to the ability to complete the unreadable signs, the cameras help absolutely utilitarian thing – in Russia, plates with license plates must have relief. (Photo: / Evgeny_Sap)

Neural networks help relief and images from different cameras.

The expert assured: about 95% of license plates do not cause any problems during recognition. And if the system has any doubts, it will use all available information in order to identify the license plate correctly. For example, if front ortho-registration numbers are unreadable, you should refer to the rear ones, and vice versa. The neural network also has a possibility to analyze and complete the image of the plates according to the series of pictures. And the neural network is constantly being further trained to be able to navigate in different types of license plates.

“There are square license plates, license plates with and without a flag, license plates of different countries. In order for the neural network to know about the latest changes, the developers have specialists who “feed” the system new types of license plates. For example we have the capacity to recognize 944 types from 94 countries. There could be more, there is just no need to add too rare series,” said Kusov.

What’s the threat for unreadable license plate

If a driver installs a plate with license plate in violation of GOST, he faces responsibility under Part 2 Art. 12.2 of the Administrative Code for driving without state registration plates or without the plates installed in the prescribed places, or driving with modified or equipped with devices or materials that prevent the identification or allow them to change or hide, explained lawyer Dmitry Dugin to This can be punished with a fine of 5000 rubles or license deprivation for the period of 1-3 months.

A special stand to test the ability to recognize license plates in different conditions.

According to the lawyer, the only exception would be cars with non-standard, but regular bumpers. If the license plate is worn out for natural reasons, for example, after the accident or as a result of wear and tear, the driver may only be fined 500 rubles under Part 1 Article 12.2 of the Administrative Code. Dugin stressed that, the decision on how to qualify each case will be decided first by the traffic police inspector, and then the court.

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