Law Enforcement Agencies Cracking Down On Careless Bike Carrier Placement

When you assembled your bike carrier and attached it to your car, you may not have thought about putting it in a place that would allow your license plate to be seen without obstruction. One Saint Louis, Missouri resident learned that having a bike rack in the wrong place was illegal, and his lesson ended up costing him $70. Although he admits that he was aware of the fact that his bike carrier partially blocked his license plate, he doesn’t understand why it took police almost three years to notice. There are several manufacturers of bike carriers that sell accessories to help motorists attach their bikes without blocking their license plates, but they are sometimes difficult for the average consumer to locate. The motorist fined, Ryan Metcalf, believes that he is being unfairly targeted. Law enforcement agencies come out in full force at the end of each year to get drunk, reckless and other dangerous drivers off of the road, but Metcalf wasn’t doing any of those things.

Although it is admirable that Metcalf stays in shape by bicycling, he really should have bought a bike carrier that would keep his license plate in plain view. Just because he was able to get away with having his license plate blocked for years doesn’t make him any less liable. The $70 fine may have caused him to grumble, but it does send a strong message to bike carrier owners. Investing in a high quality bike rack will protect your bikes, but it also helps to keep other drivers safe. While you would never want your bicycles to fall off of your car while you are driving, you should also want other drivers to be able to easily identify your car. Not being able to give 911 dispatchers the license plate number of a motorist can delay emergency efforts, and in Metcalf’s case, it might be reason enough for the police to pull you over and issue a ticket.

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