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3/11-2003

Trafikmagasinet = is the name of a car program that keeps the Swedish society updated with the latest car news, once a week on the Swedish National Television.

We are testing the car registration plate spray
The government is undertaking large projects with the automatic speed cameras – the supervising lockers along the roads are doubling. But you can find a spray on the internet that is putting the cameras at risk and they are probably legal. Trafikmagasinet have tested if it works.

Sent: 3/11-2003
Reporter: Erika Rydstrand

Approximately 50 million Swedish Kronor will be spent on the automatic traffic safety control (ATK) and along the roads will it be around 330 radar cameras by the end of 2003, while in fact at this moment in time are there 180 radar cameras.

Spray on the Internet
Many tests have been done with great creativity to get away from the radar cameras. For instance, there is a spray for the registration plate that can be bought on the Internet. We first contacted the police to do a test, but they didn’t want to since they say its illegal. To get the biggest test result we could, we drove the car with a regular (not sprayed) registration plate. We could conclude that the sign was readable at the actual photograph. When we changed the plate to one that had been sprayed and tested in three times, was it unreadable each and every time on the photograph, meaning that you couldn’t see whose plate it was at the photo. Even when we moved the cameras closer to the plate and having the car stand still, it wasn’t readable.

Clear Difference
Just like the police, do we use an advanced car-program and with the help of the computer try to make the registration plate readable. When we compare the regular plate with the sprayed one, do we recognize a huge difference. We experiment with the computer, try to make it darker and lighter. We try as hard as we can to read the registration plate, but we fail to do so.

What does the law say?
A spray can costs approximately 400 Swedish kronor and can in fact put the 50 million investments at risk. The questions is if it is legal to spray the registration plate? After a legal judgment do we conclude that there is no penalty for spraying the registration plate. The plate is readable for the eye and the applicable law text that was written in 1972 mentions nothing about sprays since it didn’t exist neither did the radar cameras.

The speed kills
The question is if its worth the money and the time that we gain to spray the plate just to be able to speed up a little extra? To drive legally doesn’t costs any money (violation tickets), and we are having difficulties to understand that the speed kills. Since it doesn’t happen to me, or does it? On the road with radar cameras, the number of deaths has actually decreased with 60 percent.

The police tested
Bo Andersson, is vice president for law at the National Road Administration and he says it is likely to be legal to spray the registration plate. The law says the plate must be readable for the eye, but it says nothing about the fact it must be able to be readable on a photograph. However, this will most likely change, be sure. After the police got to hear about out test exercises, they actually arranged their own. The police do uphold the fact that the spray doesn’t work. Yet, the best way not to get a speeding ticket is simply not to drive faster than the law…

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