The unbelievable reason this man was fined $448

If you think your car might be overdue for a wash, this might just kick you into gear.

One 4WD driver is now $448 and three demerit points poorer after he was picked up by NSW police for a rather unusual offence.

While most of his Toyota Prado seemed to be relatively clean, the extra dirt obstructing his number plate meant the driver was breaking the law of using a class a vehicle with an obscured number plate.

“Not washing your car properly – $448 and 3 points. Don’t wash your car and neglect your number plate. Remover the cover,” a Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Facebook post read.

Numbers plates are not allowed to be hinged. Source: NSW/ Traffic and Highway Patrol Command
This NSW 4WD driver was hit with a $448 fine for having an obscured number plate. Source: Traffic and Highway Patrol Command – NSW Police Force

In a second instance, a driver was slapped with the same fine for having the number plate on his trailer hinged, rather than being secured on all four corners.

NSW law dictates that all number plates must be clearly visible from any point that is up to 20 metres away from the number plate.

Number plate covers must be clear, clean, untinted and flat over the entire surface, and have no reflective or other characteristics that would prevent the successful operation of traffic offence detection devices. This also applies for motorcycles and trailers.

While the $448 ticket might seem rather steep, the driver could have been slapped with a $2200 fine had the matter been taken to court.

In South Australia, fines for number plate offences range from $496 for an obscured plate to $696 for one altered or defaced.

In all states, number plates must be clearly visible from 20m at all points in the shaded areas marked “A”. Source: Vic RoadsWA drivers risk a $1000 fine for obscured plates, following a major crackdown in 2014.

The punishment is a little less severe in Victoria, where drivers risk a $110 on the spot fine and three demerit points.

While Tasmanian motorists won’t lose any demerit points for an ineligible number plate, they do risk a $163 fine.

The fine for an obscured number plate in Queensland is $341, but no demerit points.

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