I witnessed a hit-and-run accident a couple of weeks ago. I was in a perfect position to get the license plate number as the driver sped away, so that I could give it to the victim and the police. Unfortunately, the car had one of those dark "smoked" plastic covers over the license plate, making it completely unreadable.
In these days of hit-and-run accidents and road rage, it makes no sense to allow people to conceal the one thing that identifies their vehicle and makes them accountable for their actions. These devices are the vehicular equivalent of a ski-mask over a robber's face.
I would think police officers stopping a vehicle with a covered license plate would be enormously nervous, just like stopping a car with black-tinted windows. Like these dark windows, it is time to crack down on license covers and put an end to this vehicular anonymity.
No action in Albany is needed. License plate covers are already illegal in New York State, and have been for many years. Even in the stores, the packages are marked "Not legal for street use. For off-road use only." Police agencies need to stop thinking of this as a trivial offense and begin ticketing vehicles with covered plates.
ALAN D. DELMAR