Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Clean up your (licence) plate

Prof says ticket could be seen as cash grab

  • Print

Cash grab or common sense?

Winnipeg motorists are discovering their dirty or obscured licence plates are netting them a $203.80 ticket.

Winnipeg police say the dirty plates hinder enforcement.

Staff Sgt. Rob Riffel said officers in the traffic unit get frustrated during the winter months with motorists who have dirty or obscured plates.

Riffel said dirty plates can foil the effectiveness of photo radar, make it impossible for witnesses to identify a vehicle in hit-and-run incidents and hinder police who frequently check vehicle licence plates.

"It's a pet peeve," with police, Riffel said. "There is no real crackdown going on, but our guys, on an ongoing basis, do give that ticket out, that's for sure."

But one university criminologist said police motives will be questioned when officers issue tickets without an accompanying public-warning campaign.

Richard Jochelson, an associate professor in the criminal justice department at the University of Winnipeg, said police are on solid legal ground when issuing tickets for an obscured plate but added they would have been better off warning the public first.

Jochelson said police warn motorists over the Christmas holidays when they'll be cracking down on drinking and driving through their Checkstop program, and if they were really concerned about traffic welfare, they should do the same for obscured plates.

"If they're just blitzing dirty plates, that's just more of a cash grab," Jochelson said.

Stopping motorists at random doesn't create public consciousness about the issue, Jochelson said.

"If they are that concerned about it, I'd say let the public know and give us a fair chance to clean our plates," he said. "Ticketing in the absence of a public campaign just seems more of a cash grab from a police force that seems more inclined to generate money that way."

Riffel said motorists should take a few extra minutes when filling up with fuel during winter months to give their plates a swipe.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 22, 2013 A2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Jet goalie Michael Hutchinson

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A mother goose has chosen a rather busy spot to nest her eggs- in the parking lot of St Vital Centre on a boulevard. Countless cars buzz by and people have begun to bring it food.-Goose Challenge Day 06 - May 08, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • Down the Hatch- A pelican swallows a fresh fish that it caught on the Red River near Lockport, Manitoba. Wednesday morning- May 01, 2013   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Do you think food-security issues are an important topic to address during this mayoral campaign?

View Results

Ads by Google