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Illegal Registration Plate, VRM not conforming
creesteN
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 16:44
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Good Afternoon,

I have recently received a traffic offence report for the reason of offence code 400, VRM not conforming. Let me explain the situation first:

  • I have arrived at a council, public access, free to use (at that time of the day) car park. I met my friend there and parked beside him. The place was known for various car meets which have been shut down by the local police and council. No event was happening that evening. With only me, and my friend being there in the other car, we have been chatting outside our cars for a few minutes. Two foot police show up; they write our registration down. I question it, they say they have no issue with us, it's only for the record if there is any antisocial behaviour. They told us we can stay.
  • 10 minutes later, a marked police car shows up, tells us to leave with no discussions as there is a dispersal order in place. I ask if I can repark my car on the other side of the car park and stay on foot, go across the road to a shop, etc. They immediately get out and look for a reason to fine me.


I then receive a telling off about my license plate as the other officer looks for more issues (finds none). I get told to get in the car and present my ID. When I question the officer as to why I'm getting the ticket, I get the response: "VRM not conforming". I ask him to be more specific, he says - I have no stamps with BS, postcodes, etc. I tell him to check again, he comes back telling me they're not visible. I tell him they don't have to be. He then adds onto that telling me the material is not reflective (it is, I have photos of the light bouncing straight into my camera), the letters are not smooth (they are pressed), and the position is not in the middle.

I have not argued about the letters as I wasn't sure. I checked the rules, I can't see anything prohibiting it. Position, I argued, mentioning the plates on Alfa Romeo. His reason was 'it's legal because it's standard, your car doesn't come like that'. I'm not satisfied and waiting for correspondence to come from police now.

What should my course of action be? I can send photographs if required.

Thanks!

This post has been edited by creesteN: Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 16:46
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post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 16:44
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peterguk
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 16:48
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Let's see pictures of the plate.

Either it conforms to regulations, or it doesn't. What makes you think BS mark and maker's postcode does not have to be present?

What is the actual offence on the TOR? "VRM not conforming" is only part of an offence.

Some Alfa Romeos have their front plate mounted off centre, depends on the car.

This post has been edited by peterguk: Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 16:54


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Jlc
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 16:50
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Indeed, it's fairly binary. Some info here.

In terms of 'visbility' and placement I suspect it's off centre? There are particular rules about this too which very precise locations for visibility based on measurements and angles - I can dig it out if necessary.

It is likely the plate needs to be retroreflective - I'm not sure if you photo proves this?

But pictures will be worth a thousand words. (It's usually quite obvious if it complies or not)

This post has been edited by Jlc: Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 16:54


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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creesteN
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 16:57
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QUOTE (peterguk @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 16:48) *
Let's see pictures of the plate.

Either it conforms to regulations, or it doesn't. What makes you think BS mark and maker's postcode does not have to be present?


They have to be present. And they are. The policeman thought they weren't. His reason then was that they are not visible. I never seen a requirement to have BS marks and postcodes 'visible' on a plate.

For the sake of privacy I have blanked out one letter.







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Jlc
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:05
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I would say your key issue is whether the plate was sufficiently viewable from the OSF.

@NewJudge - you had a diagram for this exact purpose...?


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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creesteN
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:07
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QUOTE (Jlc @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:05) *
I would say your key issue is whether the plate was sufficiently viewable from the OSF.

@NewJudge - you had a diagram for this exact purpose...?


If you could kindly instruct me, I'll head outside and check right now.
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southpaw82
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:12
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I can't see how that complies with the visibility requirements. It won't be visible towards the offside of the vehicle.


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NewJudge
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:19
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QUOTE (Jlc @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:05) *
I would say your key issue is whether the plate was sufficiently viewable from the OSF.

@NewJudge - you had a diagram for this exact purpose...?


Yes I did. I'm trying to find it biggrin.gif

There is a fairly prescriptive regulation defining the siting of vehicle number plates. I described it in an answer many moons ago. Essentially an imaginary rectangle is drawn in the front of the vehicle with one of its corners sited at the centre front of the car (so you have in effect a “diamond” shape in front of the car. The number plate must be readable from the entire rectangle. I’ll see if I can locate the question. It’s difficult to tell from your photographs but at a guess I would say the siting of your number plate does not comply.
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southpaw82
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:24
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Regulation 6 of The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001

QUOTE
This paragraph requires the plate to be fixed—

(a) vertically or, where that is not reasonably practicable, in a position as close to the vertical as is reasonably practicable,
(b) in such a position that in normal daylight the characters of the registration mark are easily distinguishable from every part of a relevant area having the diagonal length specified in paragraph (4).

(4) The diagonal length of the relevant area is—

(a) in the case of a mark having characters the width of which is at least 57 millimetres, 22 metres,
(b) in the case of a mark having characters the width of which is 50 millimetres, 21.5 metres,
(c) in the case of a mark having characters the width of which is 44 millimetres, 18 metres.


And Regulation 4

QUOTE
Interpretation of Part II

4. In this Part the following expressions shall have the following meanings—

“diagonal length”, in relation to a relevant area, means the length of a line drawn diagonally across the square enclosing the area (so that the extent of the relevant area is thereby delimited);

“relevant area”, in relation to a registration plate, means the area contained in a square described on the ground—
(a) in front of the vehicle in the case of a plate fixed on the front of the vehicle, and
(b) behind the vehicle in the case of a plate fixed on the rear of the vehicle,
where one corner of the square is immediately below the middle of the plate and the diagonal of the square from that corner is parallel to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle;


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peterguk
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:31
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So front plate not in it's original position.

As others have said, take to suitable location. Draw out imaginary bo according to posts above. See if plate visible from anywhere in box. Like others have alluded to, IMHO you'll fail on visibility from OS.



This post has been edited by peterguk: Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:32


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Jlc
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:33
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QUOTE (peterguk @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:31) *
See if plate visible from everywhere in box.

It's a large box (more a diamond actually)


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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creesteN
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:37
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QUOTE (peterguk @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:31) *
So front plate not in it's original position.

As others have said, take to suitable location. Draw out imaginary bo according to posts above. See if plate visible from anywhere in box. Like others have alluded to, IMHO you'll fail on visibility from OS.


Yes. It is not in its original position because that's what I intended (nowhere did I see that it has to be in original position). I'm heading out now to snap some photos.
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peterguk
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:45
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QUOTE (creesteN @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:37) *
QUOTE (peterguk @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:31) *
So front plate not in it's original position.

As others have said, take to suitable location. Draw out imaginary bo according to posts above. See if plate visible from anywhere in box. Like others have alluded to, IMHO you'll fail on visibility from OS.


Yes. It is not in its original position because that's what I intended (nowhere did I see that it has to be in original position). I'm heading out now to snap some photos.


It doesn't have to be in it's original position. It just needs to pass the visibility test as outlined above.


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NewJudge
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:50
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Snapping a few photos won't really help. You need to measure out the "diamond" in front of your car, stand in the far left hand corner of it (when looking at your car) and see if you can read your number plate.

When you said that "nowhere did you see it has to be in its original position" did you come across the regulations explained above?

This post has been edited by NewJudge: Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:52
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creesteN
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:53
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Photo from roughly 22m (+/- 2) and 45 degrees off center of the car by eye. Zoomed by my phone camera so some quality is lost.


QUOTE (NewJudge @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 17:50) *
Snapping a few photos won't really help. You need to measure out the "diamond" in front of your car, stand in the far left hand corner of it (when looking at your car) and see if you can read your number plate.

When you said that "nowhere did you see it has to be in its original position" did you come across the regulations explained above?


Have you got a diagram? I'm having a hard time understanding what is the area that's relevant.

This post has been edited by creesteN: Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 20:48
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The Rookie
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 18:01
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From the centreline of the plate (not the car) you head out at 45 degrees to the centreline of the car (offside only in your case) and see if you can still read the plate.

Additionally it must meet the relevant BS and have the details on it, it has the details but does it meet the requirements?


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creesteN
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 18:13
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 18:01) *
From the centreline of the plate (not the car) you head out at 45 degrees to the centreline of the car (offside only in your case) and see if you can still read the plate.

Additionally it must meet the relevant BS and have the details on it, it has the details but does it meet the requirements?


Ahhh! If that's the case - I am certain that the plate is more than visible then. I have just roughly checked that (I'm sure neighbours had a laugh); and it's clearly visible from there. Phone died so I could not shoot it.

As for the requirements, I don't quite know. It's retroreflective, that's for sure. Sizing, font and spacing is standard.
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southpaw82
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 18:36
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QUOTE (creesteN @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 18:13) *
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 18:01) *
From the centreline of the plate (not the car) you head out at 45 degrees to the centreline of the car (offside only in your case) and see if you can still read the plate.

Additionally it must meet the relevant BS and have the details on it, it has the details but does it meet the requirements?


Ahhh! If that's the case - I am certain that the plate is more than visible then. I have just roughly checked that (I'm sure neighbours had a laugh); and it's clearly visible from there. Phone died so I could not shoot it.

As for the requirements, I don't quite know. It's retroreflective, that's for sure. Sizing, font and spacing is standard.

Even when you move to the offside?


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Jlc
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 18:38
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It's the 'easily distinguishable' part that perhaps is subjective. It may be borderline at the extremities.

At the moment, nothing has been formally issued in regards to how they want to proceed.


--------------------
RK=Registered Keeper, OP=Original Poster (You!), CoFP=Conditional Offer of Fixed Penalty, NtK=Notice to Keeper, NtD=Notice to Driver
PoFA=Protection of Freedoms Act, SAC=Safety Awareness Course, NIP=Notice of Intended Prosecution, ADR=Alternative Dispute Resolution
PPC=Private Parking Company, LBCCC=Letter Before County Court Claim, PII=Personally Identifiable Information

Private Parking - remember, they just want your money and will say almost anything to get it.
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creesteN
post Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 18:42
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QUOTE (southpaw82 @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 18:36) *
QUOTE (creesteN @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 18:13) *
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 18:01) *
From the centreline of the plate (not the car) you head out at 45 degrees to the centreline of the car (offside only in your case) and see if you can still read the plate.

Additionally it must meet the relevant BS and have the details on it, it has the details but does it meet the requirements?


Ahhh! If that's the case - I am certain that the plate is more than visible then. I have just roughly checked that (I'm sure neighbours had a laugh); and it's clearly visible from there. Phone died so I could not shoot it.

As for the requirements, I don't quite know. It's retroreflective, that's for sure. Sizing, font and spacing is standard.

Even when you move to the offside?


At next opportunity, I will try to deliver some exact photographs for you. Thanks for your help.

QUOTE (Jlc @ Thu, 16 Mar 2017 - 18:38) *
It's the 'easily distinguishable' part that perhaps is subjective. It may be borderline at the extremities.

At the moment, nothing has been formally issued in regards to how they want to proceed.


Is it possible that they will throw this matter away without even contacting me?
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