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License Plates

January 25, 2010 | By Jack Leonard
It was meant to be a smoking gun: A grainy security video that proved police corruption. Officers said they had stopped Rafat Abdallah because his white Mercedes was missing a license plate. During a search of the car, they discovered a loaded handgun -- a serious crime for a convicted felon like Abdallah. But the footage, taken from a surveillance camera, clearly showed a license plate on Rafat Abdallah's white Mercedes as he left his business just moments before officers pulled him over.
August 1, 2009 | David A. Keeps
Back in the days when people explored the U.S.A. in a Chevrolet, they might have returned with commemorative state plates, meant more for displaying on kitchen walls than for serving supper. Now crafty Stella Anthony has transformed these vintage souvenir dinner dishes and some sweet midcentury graphic designs into cool kitchen clocks, priced from $18. Call (323) 513-3478 or e-mail her at saamzplace@sbcglobal .net. -- David A. Keeps
May 10, 2009 | DeeDee Correll, Correll writes for The Times.
All Kelley Coffman-Lee wanted to do was broadcast her love of tofu to the driving public. So the Colorado vegan applied to the state's Department of Revenue for a vanity license plate for her Suzuki SL7 carrying the message: ILVTOFU. Clerks at her local motor vehicle office approved the plate -- but it did not escape the discerning eyes of state revenue officials, who detected another way that Coffman-Lee's penchant for tofu could be read.
April 16, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Would you drive any differently if you knew there was a teenager at the wheel of the car in front of you? You could find out soon. A first-in-the-nation law in New Jersey will require new drivers ages 21 and younger to display decals on their vehicles. The law will take effect in 2010. The decals will probably be a small reflective rectangle attached to the front and rear license plates to help police enforce restrictions on probationary drivers, motor vehicle officials said. Police will use them to determine whether teens are violating the state driving curfew and passenger restrictions, said Pam Fischer, director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Safety.
September 27, 2008 | Christian Berthelsen, Times Staff Writer
It was the kind of move that would usually mean a ticket for a young guy in a tricked-out BMW: unsafely zipping around a truck and another vehicle -- which happened to be a CHP cruiser -- while zooming down the road. But rather than getting slapped with a fine last year on U.S. 101 south of San Francisco, Nick Palefsky was let go with a warning. "He said, 'Next time, be a little bit more cautious,' " Palefsky recounted in a recent interview.
July 21, 2008 | Mark Magnier, Times Staff Writer
With the Games due to start in less than three weeks, Beijing on Sunday cranked up antipollution measures by yanking cars off the roads, expanding mass transit and staggering work hours in a bid to meet its pledge of a "green" Olympics. Under rules to curb smog and traffic congestion that will last from July 20 to Sept. 20, owners of 3.3 million private cars can drive only on alternate days in China's capital, based on whether the last digit of their license plates is even or odd. Those in violation face a $14 fine, a significant amount for most Chinese.
July 2, 2008
We admire whales as much as anyone. But with all respect to the artist currently known as Wyland, there are other airbrush wielders who can produce a respectable image of a cetacean’s flukes among the waves. Now that the Laguna Beach muralist has revoked California's right to use his artwork on a license plate, the state should happily swim off in a new direction.
June 25, 2008 | Susannah Rosenblatt, Times Staff Writer
The Laguna Beach artist who created California's iconic whale-tail license plate is making a splash with state coastal officials, revoking the state's right to use his art after they snubbed his request to share profits from the image with his environmental group.
February 26, 2008 | Marc Lifsher, Times Staff Writer
California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has halted a ballot initiative drive that would have empowered authorities to seize the license plates from vehicles belonging to drivers who had no auto insurance. Poizner launched the campaign late last year, saying strong action was needed to take off the road the estimated 25% of drivers who fail to comply with California's mandatory auto insurance law.
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