Number Plates... (anti-flash sprays.)
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With products like... SafePlate, ProtectorPlate and Photoblocker... there are two obvious questions that come to mind... do they Work? and are they Legal?  The Manufacturers will say "Yes" to both... but in reality, neither answer is straight forward.  [Click the blinkx Video Link to find Information or see News Stories about these products.]
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Does it Work?
On the question of... Does it work? the Manufacturers say, basically... if you follow the instructions then the spray is very effective against a flash from the rear: [public feedback would seem to indicate a mixed response.]  Now, obviously this will be no defence against other types of speed detection equipment like Vascar or Pacing... so using this spray does not give a driver the ability to drive around breaking any speed limit at will... nor is it meant to.  But, every year, there are many thousands of perfectly good drivers who inadvertently get caught out by Gatsos... even though they may be driving in a perfectly safe manner.
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Basically, the various products seem to fall into two categories... those that have been specifically developed for the purpose [and are patented... or 'patent-pending'] and those that are just a common clear acrylic spray known as "Hi-Shine".  Both seem to be quite effective at reflecting the Flash at night when it is the only source of light... but in bright sunshine, the Flash is only a small part of the available light source and the "Hi-Shine" does not seem to work very well.  The 'patented' products would appear to be much more effective during daylight hours... but even these do not seem to be 100% reliable.
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SafePlate.  Review... website makes no mention of any patents... nor does it declare that it is not "Hi-Shine"  Testimonials? only a few short testimonials from members of the public... no real credibility.  About 25... available in the UK.  
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ProtectorPlate.  Review... claims to be a patented formula and states quite clearly that it is not "Hi-Shine".  Testimonials? doesn't have any.  Would appear to be very expensive... which they claim is because they are the real-deal and not some cheap imitation.  $119.99... available from the US.
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PhotoBlocker: [USA]  Review... claims to be a product with 'patent-pending'.  Testimonials? has a lot of very credible testimonies from the Press, TV and independent bodies.  $59.99... including delivery... can be bought direct from the USA: [cheaper if you are purchasing from within North America.]  
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Photoblocker: [UK] can be purchase for about 23.99 plus 3 P&P.
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Visitors can click on the links above... visit the websites and read what the manufactures have to say first hand.  We have not used any of these products... so visitors will have to make their own assessment.  For what it's worth... our conclusion... if you want to give an anti-flash spray a go... in our book the clear winner is PhotoBlocker
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We do not believe that selling this product undermines road safety in general, as many of the worse offenders... [like boy-racers]... spend nearly all their time around their own local area... or regularly travelling along the same few routes: [like home to work]... where they get to know the exact location of every fixed camera... and so can easily avoid them.  Gatsos are far more likely to catch out those who drive for a living... high-mileage drivers who travel to lots of different places... who are looking out for road signs... and watching other vehicles... rather than keeping one eye on their speedo the whole time.  So, we think this product would be particularly useful to those kind of drivers... as a first line of defence.
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Is it Legal?
Again the Manufacturers will say Yes, it is... but the reality would appear to be a little more complicated.  It is not difficult to imagine that the Authorities would not be happy about people using this type of product.  It would seem that no specific law has been passed in the UK making these products illegal... so until they do... there is nothing to stop you.  [Some States in American may have outlawed the product?]
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However, a spokesman for the Department of Transport is quoted as saying that... "although these products have not been outlawed... any driver using them could leave themselves open to being prosecuted for trying to pervert the course of justice".  So, basically, they're saying... the product isn't illegal... but using it might be!  However... we can find no reference about anybody being prosecuted for using it.  So, in theory you could be prosecuted... but in practice, that would appear to be highly unlikely.
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Will they make it illegal?
They might very well make it illegal in future... [rumours in could be made illegal in the UK by 2008.]  But the question is... would it be worth all the effort?  While the product is still legal in other countries, people will just continue buying it over the internet.
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We have seen some mention of taking legal action against the Manufacturers... on the basis that they are encouraging drivers to break the law.  However, that would seem to leave vehicle manufacturers open to the same accusation... how can they justify selling vehicles capable of travelling at 100mph... and more... when you cannot legally drive it at more than 70mph?
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[Some laws are just... basically... unworkable.  If you buy a stereo... there will be a printed warning somewhere in the instructions telling you that recording music from a CD... or off the radio infringes copyright laws.  But everyone does it... and nobody ever gets prosecuted for it.]
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Using this type of product could end up in a similar situation... they would have to, literally. burst into your garage while you were applying the product... and then, still prove that you were going to use it on the road.
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If you were somehow caught with it on your number plate... they would have to prove that you put it there.  Your vehicle will probably spend some time parked in a public place... so, anyone could spray it without your knowledge... and as it is invisible... you would have no way of knowing that it had been done.  So, unless you admit to it... go onto an internet forum and publicly declare it... or similar... it would be very difficult for them to prove.
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If you want to know all the legal ramifications... consult a Solicitor.  Our recommendation... "caveat emptor"... buyer beware!  We have no first hand experience of using these product... but would certainly have no moral qualms about using it.  It really is a matter of personal choice.  But, if you decide to buy... apply it away from prying eyes: [i.e. don't apply it out on the public road where everyone can see you]... and never admit to using it.  If it only saves you once... it will have been a very worthwhile investment.
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