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Photo Enforcement

  • State License Plate Laws

    License Plate CoverLicense plate frames can be a fun and creative way to decorate or customize your vehicle and add that personal touch. If you're searching for a solution to those pesky red light and speed cameras, an anti-photo license plate cover could be exactly what you need. However, before you pick out a frame or cover, check the local statutes in your area. There may or may not be some restrictions, depending on the laws in your state.

    It is especially important to be mindful of the laws and regulations in each individual state governing license plates when traveling, as they can vary greatly from one state to the next. A license plate frame or cover allowed in your state may be restricted or even illegal in another. If you commute between two states or plan to take a cross-country trip, what was perfectly legal or permitted in your state could get you into trouble once you cross the state line.

    The chart below lists US laws, statutes and regulations regarding the use of license plate covers, frames and shields by state.

    Note: The information contained in this chart was based on information provided by Cruiser Accessories in 2018 and is made available for general informational purposes only. Please refer to the proper authority in your state for the most current and complete laws and regulations regarding the use of license plate covers and frames.

    License Plate Laws by State
    State Plate Shields Plate Frames Visibility Comments
    Alabama Yes Yes Must be visible
    at all times
    "Alabama" must be clearly visible at top of plate
    Alaska Yes Yes Must be visible at all times
    Arizona Yes Yes Must be clearly
    legible and visible
    "Arizona" must be clearly visible at top of plate
    Arkansas Yes Yes Must be
    clearly legible
    Covers that make the license plate difficult to read
    or reduces its reflective properties
    are prohibited
    California NO Yes Must be
    clearly visible
    Red light/speed camera license plate covers
    are also prohibited
    Colorado Clear only Yes Must be clearly visible Covers that shield or impair the reading
    of a license plate by devices
    are also prohibited
    Connecticut Yes Yes Must be visible Covers cannot obscure or impair visibility
    Delaware Clear only Yes Must be
    clearly readable
    Red light/speed camera license plate covers, shields, sprays, etc. are also prohibited
    District of Columbia NO Yes clearly and distinct Identification tags must be clearly legible
    Florida Yes Yes Must be visible
    at all times
    Red light/speed camera license plate covers, shields, sprays, etc. are prohibited
    Georgia Clear only Yes Must be plainly visible Red light/speed camera license plate covers, shields, sprays, etc. are prohibited
    Hawaii Yes Yes Must be visible
    at all times
    Plates must be unobscured at all times
    Idaho Yes Yes Must be free of foreign materials
    and visible at all times
    Plates must be clearly visible and legible
    Illinois NO Yes Must be clearly visible anti red light/speed camera license plate covers, shields, sprays, devices, etc. are prohibited
    Indiana Yes Yes Must be clearly visible Plates must be free of foreign materials
    Iowa Yes Yes Permit full view of numbers and letters Frames must permit full view of all numbers and letters on registration plate
    Kansas NO Yes Must be clearly legible license plate covers, shields, sprays, etc. are prohibited
    Kentucky Yes Yes Must be clearly visible Frames and covers must permit
    full view of all numbers and letters
    on plate
    Louisiana Yes Yes Must be clearly visible Plates must be free of foreign materials
    Maine Yes Yes Must be clearly visible Plates, letters and numbers must be clearly visible at all times
    Maryland NO Yes Must be
    clearly visible
    No tinted, colored, painted, marked, clear or illuminated object designed to distort the characters on a license plate is allowed
    Massachusetts NO Yes Must be
    displayed conspicuously
    license plate covers, shields, etc. are prohibited
    Michigan Yes Yes Must be
    clearly visible
    Plates must be free of foreign materials
    Minnesota NO Yes Must be
    plainly visible
    No clear or colorless material that affects plated visibility or reflectivity is allowed
    Mississippi Yes Yes Must be clearly visible Plates, letters and numbers must not be covered by any object, marking, paint, etc.
    Missouri Yes Yes Must be clearly visible Covers may not impair reflective qualities of plate
    Montana Yes Yes Must be obviously visible "Montana" and border outline of state must be clearly visible
    Nebraska Yes Yes Must be visible All letters, numbers, etc. on plates must be free from grease dust and other blurring matter
    Nevada Yes Yes Readable from 100 ft. Plates must be clearly legible and free from foreign material
    New Hampshire Yes Yes Displayed conspicuously Plates must be clean and not be obscured
    New Jersey Yes Yes Displayed conspicuously sale or use of anti red light/speed camera license plate covers, shields, sprays, devices, etc. are prohibited
    New Mexico Yes Yes Clearly visible Plates must be clearly legible and free from foreign material
    New York NO Yes Must be visible sale or use of anti red light/speed camera license plate covers, shields, substances, etc. are prohibited
    North Carolina Yes Yes Plainly readable from 100 ft. No clear or colorless material that affects plate visibility or legibility is allowed
    North Dakota Yes Yes Clearly visible Plates must be clearly visible and letters and numbers must not be obscured
    Ohio Yes Yes Clearly visible Plates must be not be covered by any material that obstructs visibility
    Oklahoma NO NO Must be
    clearly visible
    No plate frame, cover or material is allowed
    Oregon NO Yes Plain view
    and easily read
    Any frame or plate holder that alters the plate or makes the numbers, letters or regtistration stickers difficult to read or unreadable is prohibited
    Pennsylvania NO Yes Must be visible
    at all times
    Red light/speed camera license plate covers, shields, sprays, etc. are prohibited
    Puerto Rico Yes Yes Clearly visible Plates must be not be covered by any material that obstructs visibility
    Rhode Island Yes Yes Clearly visible Plainly readable from 100 ft.
    South Carolina No Yes Must be visible
    at all times
    No tinted covers allowed
    South Dakota Yes Yes Clearly visible Plates must be clearly visible and letters and numbers must not be obscured
    Tennessee No Yes Clearly visible No tinted covers allowed and plates must be clearly visible with no foreign materials
    Texas Yes Yes No reflective matter or blurring of the plate and plates must be free of foreign material and clearly legible
    Utah Yes Yes Clearly visible Plates must be free of foreign material and clearly visible
    Vermont No Yes Plainly legible No tinted covers allowed and plates must be plainly legible at all times
    Virginia Yes Yes Clearly visible
    and legible
    No colored frame or covers allowed and plates must be clearly visible and legible
    Washington Yes Yes Must be visible
    at all times
    Unlawful to use frames or covers that change, alter or obscure any portion of the plate or make it illegible
    West Virginia Yes Yes Clearly legible Plates must be free of foreign materials and clearly legible
    Wisconsin Yes Yes Clearly legible Plates must be at all times be maintained in a legible condition
    Wyoming Yes Yes Clearly legible Plates must be free of foreign materials and clearly legible

    The information in the chart above is a basic overview and is provided courtesy of Cruiser Accessories. For the full chart, download their State License Plate Laws - 2018.

    Comments, questions? Leave a comment below. If you're shopping for camera defense solutions or license plate frames and need assistance, contact us and we'll be happy to help!

  • Photo enforcement license plate covers and Veil G5 Stealth Coating

    Veil G5 Stealth Coating can be combined with a radar and laser detector for a more effective solution against police laser guns. It can also work with OnTrack license plate covers such as the Photo Blur for a more complete protection system.

    In this exclusive video interview with The Veil Guy, Danny Feemster from Buy Radar Detectors talks with Bob Rosania, CEO of Veil Corporation and asks him what he thinks of using Veil G5 with OnTrack License Plate Covers such as the Photo Blur, Super Protector and Laser Shield.

  • How To Remove Veil G5

    Veil G5 Stealth Coating is a highly effective deterrent to police laser threats when applied to headlights and other reflective surfaces of your vehicle. In a previous video, we show you how to properly apply Veil G5 for maximum effectiveness. But, how do you remove it?

    In this video, Danny Feemster from Buy Radar Detectors shows you how to quickly and easily remove Veil G5 from an OnTrack Photo Blur license plate cover. The Veil G5 / Photo Blur Combo is an effective solution for laser detectors and red light cameras.

  • How To Apply Veil G5

    Veil G5 Stealth Coating is a translucent liquid specifically designed to defend against police laser threats. When properly applied to headlights and other reflective surfaces of your vehicle, Veil G5 is highly effective at reducing the range of a laser gun. However, for maximum effectiveness, it must be applied properly.

    In this video, Danny Feemster from Buy Radar Detectors shows you how to apply Veil G5 to an OnTrack Photo Blur license plate cover. The Veil G5 / Photo Blur Combo is a great deterrent to laser detectors and red light cameras.

  • Protection from IR traffic enforcement cameras

    Infrared, or IR as it is also known, is electromagnetic radiation that is at the edge of the spectrum of light visible by humans (above 720 nm wavelength). Devices utilizing IR, such as infrared photography cameras and night vision goggles, allow users to see objects under low-light conditions. Such devices are particularly useful for surveillance, especially when stealth is important. The flash from an IR photographic camera is usually not noticeably visible to the naked eye, yet can provide a reasonably identifiable image of an object at night. Given these advantages, an IR camera may be a logical choice for use in traffic enforcement in some locations, such as intersections where red light cameras are in use.

    IR cameras are commonly used overseas in the UK, Sweden, Czech Republic, Norway, Brazil, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia and other countries. While not yet used extensively in the US, they are apparently installed in some local jurisdictions. Because of their stealth qualities, it isn't always easy to tell where they are being used. The best way to tell if an IR camera is installed at an intersection is, of course, at night. If the intersection is a known location for red light cameras and there is no bright flash or only a faint red one when they are tripped, there are likely IR cameras in use.

    At such intersections, night vision surveillance and easy to read photos of your vehicle license plate are probably unbeknownst to you, until you get the ticket. It's sneaky, underhanded stuff, to be sure. So how can one deal with an IR camera? How can you elude the spying eyes of Big Brother and protect your wallet from the revenue hungry clutches of the local city or county government? The solution is anti-infrared camera blocking.

    Fortunately there is a product available to block IR cameras from detecting the content on your vehicle license plate: The IR Invisi-Plate from OnTrack.

    The IR Invisi-Plate anti-Infrared Camera License Plate Cover fits neatly over the license plate of your vehicle. It is completely translucent under normal light, so are the numbers on the plate are visible to the naked eye when viewed from any angle. When viewed using infrared photography, however, the Invisi-Plate blocks out the letters and numbers on the plate, effectively removing them from view. According to OnTrack, the Invisi-Plate "is the only anti-photo license plate cover designed to defeat IR cameras from every angle!"

    There is one caveat. While it is itself a stealth solution to a stealth surveillance issue, The OnTrack IR Invisi-plate may not be legal to use in some areas or states. Buy Radar Detectors strongly recommends that you check the laws in your jurisdiction before you purchase the Invisi-Plate for use on your vehicle.

    For those who need protection from traditional photo traffic enforcement cameras, the OnTrack Photo Blur Protector, Super Protector, TollFree Protector and Total Eclipse all work against IR as well.

  • Escort Live! takes radar detection to the next level

    When your radar detector alerts you to an oncoming radar speed trap, every second counts. If it's a laser, chances are the time needed to react before you are tagged has already passed. But what if you could be alerted a minute or miles in advance? Well, now you can.

    Escort has taken radar detection to the next level with a patented system called Escort Live!. This unique system combines over a million active Beltronics and Escort radar detectors, Bluetooth wireless technology, smartphones and a central database to create what they call a "real-time ticket protection network" that can alert you to potential radar and laser threats on the road before you encounter them!

    For instance, someone in your area connected to Escort Live! is driving down a road and their Escort radar detector picks up a radar or laser threat. The alert is immediately transmitted to the ESCORT Live™ network database and the data recorded. A short while later you drive down the same road. Connected to the database, the ESCORT Live™ app on your smartphone receives the data on the previous threat and immediately alerts you to the speed trap, well before you reach it. Now imagine a million or more drivers, their radar detectors all sharing radar and laser threat data with each other across the continent through that same database. Escort has essentially created a "social network" for drivers and their radar detectors!

    Sounds great, but how does one connect a radar detector to a smartphone app in the first place?

    Enter the SmartCord Live!™. It is a power cord and data cable all rolled into one. This is the accessory that connects your Escort or Beltronics radar detector with your smartphone so you can connect to Escort's database and share all that information. SmartCord Live! uses Bluetooth® technology to interface with the ESCORT Live! smartphone app installed on your iPhone or Android smartphone. It comes in two versions, a coiled power cord that plugs into a 12V DC outlet (cigarette lighter) or a Direct Wire cord that is hard wired into your vehicle.

    SCLIVE-1-x.jpgThe SmartCord Live! coiled power cord features a DC vehicle adapter, Mini USB Jack that connects your computer to download software updates, a USB Jack so you can charge another device with the DC adapter simultaneously, a modular connector to connect and power your Beltronics or Escort radar detectors, an alert light, a Power/Bluetooth light, an ESCORT Live! Report Button (Push to manually report alerts to other users or reconnect SmartCord Live! to your smartphone) and a mute button.

    SCDWLIVE.pngThe SmartCord Live! Direct Wire uses a tiny console interface with a Mini USB Jack that connects your computer to download software updates, a modular connector to connect and power your Beltronics or Escort radar detector, an alert light, a Power/Bluetooth light, an ESCORT Live! Report Button (Push to manually report alerts to other users or reconnect SmartCord Live! to your smartphone) and a mute button.

    Both plug-in power cord and direct wire versions offer the real-time ticket protection network, Escort's DEFENDER Database of speed cameras, red light cameras and speed traps, GPS-powered speed-limit data for over-speed alerts, Truelock™ to help eliminate false alerts, the capability to receive live traffic data for your current location and mark locations for future reference.

    Then there is the smartphone app. The ESCORT Live!™ smartphone app is available for both iPhone and Android. It connects to Escort's database to obtain and display the latest information available on speed cameras, speed traps and speed limit data, including band, signal strength and frequency. Previous ESCORT Live™ events tagged across the network are noted with an "approaching live alert" message and an arrow indicating the location direction and distance from the source of the alert. A "heat map" icon marks the coordinate location of the alert and changes color and transparency based on alert relevance. The app can display a compass heading, the speed of your vehicle and over-speed alerts and offers dashboard and map views with customizable settings. You can also use the app to access settings and manage alerts on your radar detector.

    The Escort Live! Android or iPhone app must be connected in order to use these features. The iPhone version works with iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3GS using 4.1 iOS or later. The Android Version works with Android OS 2.2 or later.

    SmartCord Live! is compatible with Escort PASSPORT 9500ix, RedLine, and most PASSPORT 8500 X50 Models. These detectors will be updated with the latest software automatically and some models will receive Escort's traffic sensor rejection (TSR) software as well. If you purchased the Passport 8500 X50 before 2008, you should call Buy Radar Detectors Toll Free at 1-800-584-1445 Monday-Friday 8am-6pm ET to determine compatibility before purchase.

  • Defensive Driving Online - Prevention and Cure

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    UPDATE: The web site referenced in this article is no longer available.

    If this is your first time to BuyRadarDetectors.com, welcome. If you're here because you recently got a traffic ticket and didn't have a radar detector, we're sorry to hear that, and we're here to help. We've teamed up with the nationally recognized course Defensive Driving Online For Dummies to help you dismiss tickets from your driving record and keep your insurance premiums low.

    Each year more than 24 million drivers in the US receive a traffic citation. Frequently changing speed limits, new red-light cameras, and unclear road signs make navigating the streets challenging. Naturally, drivers using radar detectors are (far) less likely to receive tickets. According to a leading online traffic school course provider, the average US driver receives a traffic citation (warnings included) every 3.2 years. With the cost of a citation ranging from $90 to $600, it's easy to see how owning a radar detector can help you save money and time.

    Avoiding Future Headaches
    If you believe Benjamin Franklin that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", so do we. Online defensive driving and online traffic school courses give drivers a convenient and cost effective way to keep tickets from showing up on their record and impacting their insurance rates. A radar detector goes a step further in helping drivers avoid hearing those unfortunate words "Do you know why I pulled you over?"

    How Defensive Driving For Dummies Works
    While the process for taking online defensive driving courses to dismiss a citation can vary from state-to-state, most follow a basic pattern. That is:

    Step 1: Go to www.DefensiveDrivingForDummies.com and register for the online course. It's self-paced, allowing you to start and stop at your convenience.

    Step 2: Take the course.

    Step 3: When you've completed (and passed) the course, you'll receive you're certificate of completion in the mail.

    Step 4: Avoid another costly ticket by buying a radar detector from BuyRadarDetectors.com.

    Are you Eligible To Take Defensive Driving Online?
    While rules for online traffic school eligibility will vary from state to state, most typically use these five factors:

    1. You have a valid in-state, non-commercial, drivers license or permit;
    2. You have proof of vehicle insurance listing you as the driver;
    3. You were not charged with speeding 25 miles, or more, over the limit;
    4. You were not ticketed in a construction or school zone;
    5. You have not taken (and are not currently attending) a driver safety course to dismiss another ticket.

    For more information go to www.DefensiveDrivingForDummies.com or call 1-800-875-4409.

  • Happy Independence Day!

    Buy Radar Detectors would like to wish you a safe and happy Independence Day! Our offices will be closed for the day on Monday, July 4, 2011. If you need assistance please send us an e-mail, visit our Facebook page or give us a call after 8 AM EDT Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at (800) 584-1445. Please stay safe while traveling, remember to keep your radar detector on and watch your speed.

  • Are Red Light Cameras A Safety Hazard?

    Among the many things in the new century that drivers love to hate, red light cameras are surely near the top of the list. These intrusive devices have become the bane of city driving at intersections across America. Aside from the budget busting cost of the tickets generated by these cameras, the concept of being monitored and photographed by the government while inside their own vehicle can be annoying, unnerving, and more than a little creepy to many drivers. Add to that the burden of proof placed on the poor soul unlucky enough to be caught in the snare of one or more of these traps around an intersection, and 2011 is more like 1984.

    There are many reasons given to support the use of red light cameras, and, not surprisingly, they are all staunchly defended by both local cash strapped governments in search of revenue and the companies who install and maintain them in search of cash cows. There is, however, one aspect to the whole Red Light Camera debate which I believe, from my own personal experience, is just flat out, dangerously wrong.

    Safety.

    Proponents of red light cameras claim that the primary reason for having them is to deter drivers from running red lights, which, at least in theory, reduces the number of accidents at a given intersection and makes it safer for drivers, pedestrians, everyone.

    Opponents of such devices say they are only there to generate revenue for local governments and red light camera companies, and actually cause more accidents than they prevent. Many concerned and frustrated drivers turn to photo enforcement defense to protect themselves and their wallets from such threats.

    Numerous studies have been performed on this very issue. Some studies show that red light cameras decrease the number of accidents and fatalities at intersections where they are installed; other studies show an increase. In other words, the results are mixed. Based on the collective data from all of them combined, the outcome of each study seems to depend somewhat on the study itself: who performed the study, how the study was performed and, most importantly, who funded it.

    According to some of these studies, red light cameras and the red lights that accommodate them are tweaked to deliver maximum revenue potential. Whether that allegation is actually true or not may necessitate a study of its own. However, at least a few of those studies seem to be corroborated by the drivers who encounter red lights equipped with cameras and report that the duration of yellow caution lights at such intersections often drops from the traditional five seconds, down to three seconds or less.

    Consider also that for some reason (whether intentional or not) some of these cameras seem a little trigger happy when the lights are still yellow and there is little doubt why some drivers are a bit suspicious when it comes to true motive for these contraptions.

    Numbers can be manipulated, but facts are facts. The fact is, I feel more at risk of having an accident at an intersection equipped with these camera traps than one without. I feel it. It's that sense of heightened awareness and foreboding that at any second, the light can change and put me in the dangerous position of either risking a ticket or risking an accident by trying to avoid one.

    Here is a classic example of why I think red light cameras actually serve to cause accidents instead of prevent them. This is a true story.

    On the afternoon of December 31, 2010, my family and I drove from Charlotte, North Carolina to Wilmington to ring in the new year with my sister, brother-in-law and young nephew. With me was my wife, my 12 year old daughter, my 11 year old son and his dog. The three hour trip covered city and highway, starting with a long stretch of road that was a little of both.

    This latter portion of road, while technically built as a highway, went right through various towns, and the first third of those had a number of red light intersections. They were generally not equipped with red light cameras and I didn't worry about them. I didn't run any, either. Aside from heavy traffic flow, the trip to Wilmington was largely uneventful.

    Then we entered Wilmington. The sun had set and it was now early evening. As soon as we entered town, we encountered red light camera traps. We felt trapped, because they were at nearly every intersection along our route. Suddenly I was on high alert.

    Green lights went yellow and almost instantly changed to red. It seemed as though all these intersections were rigged to catch any driver they could whether that driver intended to run a red light or not. I slowed the car down and approached each intersection carefully, ready to brake at the first sign of a yellow light. Yet I still had to maintain a reasonable speed to prevent disrupting the flow of traffic and angering drivers behind me.

    The yellow lights did not last long but I was cautious enough to anticipate the changes and stop in time. In fact, I was so focused on the lights I found it difficult to concentrate on the rest of the road. The red light cameras themselves were a major distraction.

    While we were waiting at one light, I glanced at the intersection a few blocks ahead. The lights at that intersection turned yellow. A car ahead of us entered the intersection just as the lights went red. Flash! Flash! Flash! The entire intersection lit up as if it were high noon. Great, I thought. If all the lights on this road are timed properly, I should be able to make it through that light on the next cycle while it's still green.

    We got the green light at our stop and we moved forward. A few moments later the light at the next intersection turned green as well, and I thought we had it made.

    I was wrong.

    Just as we approached the light, it turned yellow. I was well within the speed limit, but we were so close there was no time to stop safely without violently slamming on the brakes. Worse yet, there was a car right behind me with no sign of slowing down. If I suddenly stopped, he would not be able to react in time and likely plow right into us. On the other hand, based on what happened to the last car, I knew I wouldn't make the yellow light.

    My first reaction was to hit the brake, but logic overruled instinct. I had to make a split second decision: either run the light and get a ticket I could not afford - or slam on the brakes and get hit from behind, hurting or possibly even killing those in the car behind me, myself, or, worse, the ones I love.

    I decided to keep going. As I passed underneath, I looked up. Yellow turned to red just as the traffic light passed over the windshield and out of sight. My pulse quickened, I held my breath, and turned my gaze back to the road. For a moment my mind went blank. I stared straight ahead, waiting for the dreaded three flashes of light to flood my peripheral vision.

    If the flashes came, I didn't notice them. We made it safely across the intersection without causing an accident. I haven't received a ticket in the mail yet, either, although we all know that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

    All I know is this. In one brief moment I had to decide whether to prevent a ticket and have an accident, or have a ticket and prevent an accident. When it comes to red light camera traps, you can be punished for doing the right thing. You can lose either way.

    You can have the studies. My position on red light cameras is based on my actual experiences with them. I find them dangerous, not only to my rights, but to my safety - and the safety of those with and around me.

  • We Wish Everyone a Happy and Safe Holiday!

    radarticket2.jpg
    Buy Radar Detectors would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday! Our offices will be closed for the day on Christmas Eve, Friday December 24, 2010. If you need assistance please send us an e-mail, visit our Facebook page or give us a call after 8 AM EST Monday, December 27, 2010 at (800) 584-1445. Please stay safe while traveling, remember to keep your radar detector on and watch your speed.

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