Spray-On Mud's Other Uses…

from the no,-seriously? dept

It seems like a totally pointless “novelty” item: “spray on mud.” It’s apparently designed for SUV drivers who (are they serious?) don’t actually get their SUVs dirty, but want people to think they do. I’m really hoping that there aren’t people that ridiculous who actually do this, but there probably are. However, it seems that plenty of folks in the UK have found a… slightly more practical use for this useless stuff: covering up their license plates to avoid speed cameras. Of course, the obvious response to this is that cops will start pulling over anyone whose plates are covered in mud (spray on, or of the more natural “splash on” variety that you’re probably more familiar with) and citing them — as it’s somewhat illegal to drive without your plates being visible. There are plenty of reasons to dislike or distrust these cameras — but that doesn’t mean covering your license plate in fake muck is a reasonable response. It seems just about as pointless as, well, trying to convince people you actually took your SUV off-road.

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Comments on “Spray-On Mud's Other Uses…”

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Bob Dole says:

Why not?

The jurisdictions using speed camera ignore the constitution (you know, the thing about being able to confront your accuser, being presumed innocent — lets not even mention the right to a jury trial). So why shouldn’t citizens ignore a minor ordinance to prevent a more serious constitutional violation?

It’s the American way. Injustice only happens when complacent citizens sit around and let it happen. I’m all for civil disobedience in a can.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Why not?

Those are definite issues that should be confronted and discussed. Spraying crap on your license plate isn’t doing that. If anything, it just makes people look petty. If you want to argue the reasons why these cameras are bad/illegal/whatever — I’m all for it, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to cover up your license plate.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Why not?

I agree. Argueing = good. Spraying mud on your own property = bad.
Level with us, Mike. After she threw her drink in your face and left, you figured she just wanted you to chase her, but the spray-on mud foiled your attempt to track her down, right?
I actually let the mud build up naturally. I call this ‘civil laziness’.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Why not?

Hey, I dislike traffic light cameras as much as the next guy, but because they don’t seem to make intersections safer but appear, instead, to cause more accidents.

But every time someone doesn’t like something, they immediately say it’s an abuse of their constitutional rights. You don’t get automatically thrown in jail via a camera and I think the ticket gives you as much recourse as when handed to you by a cop. And I’m pretty sure there’s nothing in the constitution guaranteeing a right to jury trial for every parking ticket and minor infraction. Probably also nothing about being presumed innocent of jaywalking or not buying a train ticket.

Just because you don’t like the color of the walls in your new apartment, doesn’t mean anyone is violating your consitutional right not to have purple walls.

Bob Dole says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Why not?

“In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved….” Converting $20 from 1800 dollars to 2005 dollars gives you $294. A red light ticket in California is now $360.

“In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” When an officer hands you a ticket, it is a criminal offense. The exact same offense registered by a camera is decriminalized into a “civil” violation (except in CA, AZ and NM). Nonetheless, even in those states you get no counsel, no jury, and obviously you don’t get a witness to confront.

Rick Colosimo (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Why not?

Well, if you thought that any of these issues you raise were meritorious, the typical route would be to file a lawsuit in federal court (federal courts would have jurisdiction over your federal question claims). You could alternatively (or in some cases simultaneously) file a similar lawsuit in the courts of whatever state in which you’ve been [allegedly] speeding. (You have access to the courts of Nevada, for example.) State courts would also be able to determine whether the acts violate the respective state constitution, which might be more restrictive on the state than the federal constitution.

Bob Dole says:

Re: Re: Why not?

Where does one discuss this? Ideally, you’d want to have a chance to fight the ticket in a court of law. Except, too bad, unless you live in California it’s a “civil” violation and your case won’t be heard in a real court where the bill of rights and judicial procedures apply. Even in California your case is heard by a judge whose salary is paid in part from ticket revenue — just the conflict of interest jury trials were meant to prevent.

So, should I talk to my elected representatives? Well, that’s a nice idea, except I like many others regularly drive through bordering states that use cameras, where I have no voice.

I understand the preference for civil discourse over petty disobedience, but the problem is the city councils responsible have too much money stuffed into their ears to listen. Unconstitutional abominations deserve to be thwarted, even if only in a small and petty way.

Ryan (the former techdirt one) says:

Speed cameras

As some of you guys know I live in London and these speed cameras really are out of control… the initial rational was to improve public safety by introducting them into traffic blackspots. However, after the government in the UK realised how much they could raise in ticket fees i.e. taxing motorists they allowed traffic cameras to be put anywhere even on long straight highways (called motorways) and they started to introduce variable speed cameras .. i.e. they change the speed on your road that’s acceptable so yesterday it was 60 today it 50mph and you didnt see any signs.. bam you get a ticket… ridiculous! I totally agree with fighting unfair regulation and taxation (which is what speed cameras are).

rael says:

Re: Speed cameras

The Uk governmenet taxes it’s citzens mercilessly. The speed camera issue is just another way they take advantage of the average joe and his attempt to live a normal life. If it actually meant to be a means of improving public safety, they should investigate the issue of endangering drivers when the speed limits change randomly and one might encounter an exceptionally slow vehicle traveling below the limit in order to safeguard themselves from penalty. The technology of the speed camera could be put to good use, if the policy governing the choices of location and need were more thoroughly thoughtout, rather than merely using these tools as an excuse for further taxation.

Michael says:

Re: Speed cameras

To the Londoners and others whose roads are photographed, has there been any rash of speed camera destruction? I know they must be difficult to get at, but what about firing BBs or paintballs at the lens? Destroying stuff is a great way to get a debate started… if that’s what we’re really after here.

Matty says:

No Subject Given

Matty said,

To those loosers out there who have the desire to but this “spray on mud”… DON’T BUY A F**KING SUV! YOU DON’T DESERVE IT. PERIOD! And do not drive that F**KING SUV or Hummer from point A to point B just to get McDonald. You mother F**KERS!

As for obsuring the license plates… . Matty hopes this spray on mud will be so corrosive that it will melt your F**KING SUV to oblivion! Get off the road, you maniac!

World according to Matty

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