SwedeSpeed - Volvo Performance Forum banner
1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife has enjoyed her 2011 XC60 for about a year and a half. Today she was driving in Kirkland, WA and sandwiched between two other cars and a cop pulls over all three with his PA speaker. He quickly dismisses the other two and then goes on a rant how my wife's plates are illegal. She politely argued that the red Swedish plates are almost totally obliterated by our legal Washington plates. Furthermore, there is nothing obstructing the view of the Washington plates.

My wife is very calm, laid back and just a lovely person. She was absolutely horrified by the attitude of this cop. She acknowledged she was speeding and we're fine paying the ticket. He is demanding we remove our souvenir plates within 14 days or we will be subject to penalty.

We think this is a very poor interpretation of the law and this cop is just being a jerk. We are law abiding citizens and pay more than our fair share of taxes. It should not be that big of a deal. Over regulation is killing our state and unfortunately our country too. Don't you think they have more pressing issues?

Has anybody else been pulled over for the same reason? If so, have you been treated with hostility from an officer who is supposed to, "Serve and protect"?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,080 Posts
I assume the Swedish plates are underneath the WA plates... ?
I would research this - I quickly found this - http://www.ehow.com/list_6807831_washington-state-license-plate-laws.html - doesn't mean it is true of course.
But really as long as your state plate is clear and unobstructed, I don't see how it can be illegal.

As to paying the ticket - you may want to look into getting a lawyer to have it reduced to an improper equipment citation (it's a non moving violation and other wise a BS way to still allow the courts to collect and the lawyers to make a few bucks - but the big kicker is it never shows up on your insurance) That is if they offer this kind of option in your state.
Here in NC every time you get a ticket for speeding; within three days your mailbox starts to fill up with lawyer solicitations. I have a couple (depending on the county) that only charge me about $50 bucks + fine and court costs.
If you have a good driving record here you can also go it yourself, but for $50 bucks, never having to go to court or the lawyers office it is a great deal for me.
We also have a PFJ (prayer for judgement) where they will dismiss (clean record of course) and if you don't get pulled with in 3 years it all goes away - if you get pulled you have to pay and take the points for both. I pay the lawyers - I just can't seem to avoid getting pulled every year and a half to two years on average.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
We've had our Washington plates on top of the red Swedish plates for over 4 years now and not one mention of it from the police.
We even have several living on our block (State Patrol, Sheriff & Tukwila PD).
And I have seen others driving around with the same plate configuration.
Sounds like someone having a bad day, call him on it. It's not illegal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
351 Posts
As to paying the ticket - you may want to look into getting a lawyer to have it reduced to an improper equipment citation (it's a non moving violation and other wise a BS way to still allow the courts to collect and the lawyers to make a few bucks - but the big kicker is it never shows up on your insurance) That is if they offer this kind of option in your state.
Here in NC every time you get a ticket for speeding; within three days your mailbox starts to fill up with lawyer solicitations. I have a couple (depending on the county) that only charge me about $50 bucks + fine and court costs.
If you have a good driving record here you can also go it yourself, but for $50 bucks, never having to go to court or the lawyers office it is a great deal for me.
We also have a PFJ (prayer for judgement) where they will dismiss (clean record of course) and if you don't get pulled with in 3 years it all goes away - if you get pulled you have to pay and take the points for both. I pay the lawyers - I just can't seem to avoid getting pulled every year and a half to two years on average.
Good thing you hire lawyers because you misunderstand how a PJC (prayer for judgment continued) works. What you said about IE was pretty dead on. Usually I tell clients to use an IE on moving violations when available.

A lot of times, in my experience with the courts, things like registration tags, inspections, illegal tint, etc. can be dismissed as long as you can show to the court that you have come into compliance. YMMV; consult a local attorney.

And you get what you pay for with the letter-writers. Good luck getting your ticket handled within 5 months and don't be surprised if your attorney fails to appear for you because he or she is too busy running around to the ten other counties where their letters get sent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,080 Posts
And you get what you pay for with the letter-writers. Good luck getting your ticket handled within 5 months and don't be surprised if your attorney fails to appear for you because he or she is too busy running around to the ten other counties where their letters get sent.
I know you are an attorney... in most cases you do get what you pay for - I am a firm believer in that most of the time.
The lawyers I have used in Guilford and Forsyth county for $50 bucks for IE's; have always been very reliable and have taken care of many moving violations for me over the years.
They are local attorneys, have good reputations, and have gotten many referrals from me to friends in need and they all got good results too.
I have had to use a few higher priced lawyers ($100 or $150 still worth it) before I found these two, but so far no complaints from me or my friends. I believe they specialize in traffic cases to some extent, one is an ex-ADA - I know they have good connections and probably take the current ADA's to lunch and golf once in a while... One of them even will have the case continued until he can get in front of a specific ADA. I know (or have a feeling) that everyone is in cahoots to some extent. But if a 87 in a 65 cost me $200 and change, plus I keep my license, gather no points and beat the insurance company - I feel good about it.
:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for your replies.

Yes, our Washington plates are installed over the red Swedish plates, just like many others we see driving in our area. There is nothing obstructing our Washington plates visibility so we believe we are legal.

The officer did not issue a ticket for the licence plate, the ticket was for speeding. The cop had a terrible attitude and was yelling at my wife about her plates. Meanwhile, he let two other motorists go that were also speeding. My wife's ticket was for $195 so our cash strapped city just dismissed $390 for the two others so he could lecture my wife for 20 minutes! It's just stupid.

Any other experiences out there? Perhaps the Volvo dealers have some input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,683 Posts
Thank you for your replies.

Yes, our Washington plates are installed over the red Swedish plates, just like many others we see driving in our area. There is nothing obstructing our Washington plates visibility so we believe we are legal.

The officer did not issue a ticket for the licence plate, the ticket was for speeding. The cop had a terrible attitude and was yelling at my wife about her plates. Meanwhile, he let two other motorists go that were also speeding. My wife's ticket was for $195 so our cash strapped city just dismissed $390 for the two others so he could lecture my wife for 20 minutes! It's just stupid.

Any other experiences out there? Perhaps the Volvo dealers have some input.

The cop sounds like a jerk.........

I took my temporary OSD plates off this past weekend and hated to replace them. I was feeling very uncomfortable after my 30 days of having the correct state plates in my trunk and did not want that conversation with the "authorities"...........

If I lived in a state only requiring one plate I would have left one on!!! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,185 Posts
Thank you for your replies.

Yes, our Washington plates are installed over the red Swedish plates, just like many others we see driving in our area. There is nothing obstructing our Washington plates visibility so we believe we are legal.

The officer did not issue a ticket for the licence plate, the ticket was for speeding. The cop had a terrible attitude and was yelling at my wife about her plates. Meanwhile, he let two other motorists go that were also speeding. My wife's ticket was for $195 so our cash strapped city just dismissed $390 for the two others so he could lecture my wife for 20 minutes! It's just stupid.

Any other experiences out there? Perhaps the Volvo dealers have some input.

Sounds like an "envy" situation there. Or maybe he had trouble reading her state plate (eye issue?) because of the extended Swedish.

Hey, I wonder if he had one of the license plate automated readers (optical). I bet that would have a fun time interpreting the combined plates.

I live in a one-plate state so left the OSD plate on the front. I've driven to DE (one plate state), as well as NJ and NY (dual plate states) with no interaction with LEO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,185 Posts
He is demanding we remove our souvenir plates within 14 days or we will be subject to penalty.
Did he issue a written warning? I see in another post that you were not cited. How will he enforce that 14 day limit, come by your house to check?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Did he issue a written warning? I see in another post that you were not cited. How will he enforce that 14 day limit, come by your house to check?
She was issued a warning only with the threat if not removed in 14 days, she will get ticketed if pulled over again. My wife is going to the police department today to complain and she is not a complainer. This jerk really ruffled her feathers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,080 Posts
She was issued a warning only with the threat if not removed in 14 days, she will get ticketed if pulled over again. My wife is going to the police department today to complain and she is not a complainer. This jerk really ruffled her feathers.
And she should - if he was that big of an a$$ - Tell her " YOU GO GIRL! "

If I were you I would also look into the Improper Equipment thing vs. the moving violation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
When I lived in WA I was pulled over for having a front plate mounted "improperly" such that the officer couldn't see it unless he bent down. The mounting position of the plate was slightly inset into the grill of the bumper such that if you stood up and looked straight down toward the hood, you could not see the plate was there. He went on and on about some law stating that the plate had to be visible from x number of feet away from the car, blah, blah, blah.

After moving to Ohio, I bought the Volvo and for aesthetic reasons I never put a front plate on the car. Ohio requires a front plate, but I've been driving around for 4 years without one and haven't been hassled once. Maybe WA police officer training emphasizes licence plate regulations...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I do not live in Washington State. So, please correct me if I am wrong, but I just did a quick search of Washington codes and it looks like Revised Code of Washington, RCW 46.16A.200 (License plates) states:


(7) Unlawful acts. It is unlawful to:

(a) Display a license plate or plates on the front or rear of any vehicle that were not issued by the director for the vehicle;

(b) Display a license plate or plates on any vehicle that have been changed, altered, or disfigured, or have become illegible;

(c) Use holders, frames, or other materials that change, alter, or make a license plate or plates illegible. License plate frames may be used on license plates only if the frames do not obscure license tabs or identifying letters or numbers on the plates and the license plates can be plainly seen and read at all times;

(d) Operate a vehicle unless a valid license plate or plates are attached as required under this section;


As I read it, under, (7)(a).. “It is unlawful to: Display a license plate or plates on the front or rear of any vehicle that were not issued by the director for the vehicle.” I would guess the officer issued a warning since your plates were not issued by the director for the vehicle. Whether they are fully visible or partially visible (I’m referring to the red plates) is not addressed in the statute.

If you were merely visiting from Sweden and utilizing current and valid red plates, then the officer would have been wrong. However, you state that your wife has had the vehicle for about a year and a half. I think it is a clear interpretation of the law.

Petty? Yes. But, I doubt the officer enacts legislation. He just enforces it. The fact that others have been driving with a similar display without any negative reaction from law enforcement personnel does not make it legal. I guess it is time to address your state legislature to repeal some laws...

Just my 2 cents…
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,080 Posts
Nice research ^^^

I am interested in hearing how it went for the OP's wife when she went to talk to the police.

They may have read her the very statement above.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,707 Posts
Well I've been driving with the OSD plates for 7 years now here in WA state (first with my S60R and now with my XC90). Never had an issue with the plates.
The cop that pulled you over is just another example of a douchebag cop. There are a lot of great cops, but sadly spoiled by dickheads like this guy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
I do not live in Washington State. So, please correct me if I am wrong, but I just did a quick search of Washington codes and it looks like Revised Code of Washington, RCW 46.16A.200 (License plates) states:


(7) Unlawful acts. It is unlawful to:

(a) Display a license plate or plates on the front or rear of any vehicle that were not issued by the director for the vehicle;

(b) Display a license plate or plates on any vehicle that have been changed, altered, or disfigured, or have become illegible;

(c) Use holders, frames, or other materials that change, alter, or make a license plate or plates illegible. License plate frames may be used on license plates only if the frames do not obscure license tabs or identifying letters or numbers on the plates and the license plates can be plainly seen and read at all times;

(d) Operate a vehicle unless a valid license plate or plates are attached as required under this section;


As I read it, under, (7)(a).. “It is unlawful to: Display a license plate or plates on the front or rear of any vehicle that were not issued by the director for the vehicle.” I would guess the officer issued a warning since your plates were not issued by the director for the vehicle. Whether they are fully visible or partially visible (I’m referring to the red plates) is not addressed in the statute.

If you were merely visiting from Sweden and utilizing current and valid red plates, then the officer would have been wrong. However, you state that your wife has had the vehicle for about a year and a half. I think it is a clear interpretation of the law.

Petty? Yes. But, I doubt the officer enacts legislation. He just enforces it. The fact that others have been driving with a similar display without any negative reaction from law enforcement personnel does not make it legal. I guess it is time to address your state legislature to repeal some laws...

Just my 2 cents…

This ^ - it is against WA law to have any plate other then the state issued plate displayed on the car (btw, this law was recently changed and thus only became illegal in the last year or so). I was "told" somewhat nicely by an Auburn, WA. Police Officer I needed to remove my euro plate or be subject to fines, tickets etc. I happen to drive by this same cop every 3rd day so off it came.

My wife's wagon still has a euro plate displayed and I have never had any issues with any law enforcement with that one so go figure.

IMHO I would say the officer is probably going to be looking out for your wife's car so I would remove it because it is illegal and not worth the hassle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
The cop that pulled you over is just another example of a douchebag cop. There are a lot of great cops, but sadly spoiled by dickheads like this guy.
Maybe I'm missing something. He wrote one ticket for speeding to which the OP states his wife was doing. He only gave a warning on the second violation. How does that make him a "douchebag cop"?
Why is he the "dickhead"?

In a civilized sociery there are laws. Some good, some stupid. (Yes this law is very stupid.) But they are there to be followed or enforced. That's how it works. If you break a law, there is a penalty.

And, I'm sure the OP's wife is a very nice lady. But, there are two sides to every story. The only people who truly know how it was handled are the two parties that were present.

I highly doubt the "douchebag cop" woke up that morning, looked himself in the mirror and said "I'm gonna hassle some OSD platers today".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,953 Posts
As I understand the story, it wasn't as though the cop said something like "Ma'am just a little warning, the law has recently changed with respect to displaying your euro tag. You need to remove it, or risk being cited for this." He ranted (ALL CAPS) while allowing 2 other speeders go without any ticket.

All cops have to choose their battle, when it comes to traffic offenses. He could easily written all 3 drivers for speeding, and kept this lady to explain the change in law, in a professional manner. Or he could have written her for both offenses. He did neither. Really, only he knows why, but from the sound of it he was very unprofessional and I would make a complaint AND remove the tag.

If her driving record was clean and she wasn't speeding excessively, he could have written her for the tag, as most likely the fine is much less and would have no effect on her insurance.

And if the story is as told above, I agree with flybynight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You are correct, the cop handled the situation very poorly. Flybynight pegged this cop accurately. My wife is the nicest person I know and everybody loves her. If it was me that got pulled over, I would have been in his face (I'm not nearly as nice as my wife). There was no reason for this cop to go on a tirade and YELL at my wife. She was treted like a criminal.

Thanks for the research volvodahc. I guess we will have to take the plates off and comply. It's the price we pay to live in this over regulated, far left liberal state of ours. I'm afraid for November ...
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top