Many innocents have gone to Daytona this year unaware of the new Florida motorcycle license plate law.
The law went into effect last October. The innocents showed up last Friday. Now some of them seem surprised to learn that most traffic laws are a scam and the policeman is not their friend.
The Florida law punishes bikers who mount their license plates vertically with an $1151 fine for the first offense. No, the idiot who wrote this did not forget to put in the decimal point. The fine is one thousand one hundred and fifty one dollars.. Which is just too outstanding a profit opportunity for some Florida towns to resist.
Besides, you know, the cops just love to see that look on your face when they tell you how much this is going to cost you.
A second infraction for mounting a motorcycle license plate vertically carries a fine of $2500. A third infraction results in a fine of $5000 and the loss of your motorcycle endorsement for ten years.
The law, written by Florida Republican state legislators Carlos Lopez-Cantera of Miami and Rudy Garcia of Hialeah, is actually a mistake. The law was intended to prevent motorcyclists from intentionally concealing their license plates. But, it was so ineptly written that it came out as a loophole that allows nasty cops in mean, little towns to steal from motorcycle vacationers.
ABATE of Florida expects the law to be “corrected” this year. In the meantime, the out-of-towners are in Daytona this week.
The Law Is The Law
And, an informal canvassing of Daytona area police departments by the Daytona News-Journal indicated that some departments are grabbing for the windfall and some are not. The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office actually understands the intent of the law and is “only” fining bikers with vertically mounted plates $91. But both the Flagler Beach and the Daytona Beach police have each been scoring themselves one of those big tickets an average of about once a day since Bike Week started.
Flagler Beach Police Chief Dan Cody told the News-Journal that he already knows the fine is “ridiculous” but his officers were going to keep writing those tickets anyway. “Myself, I would suggest to all these people to go to court and let the judge decide,” Cody said.
Right, just give up your old life and remain in your hotel until you get a court date. Then pray that the judge isn’t half as big a flaming jackass as the Chief of Police.