SPEEDING motorcyclists in Essex are evading prosecution by using illegal number plates which are too small for speed cameras to detect, the EADT can reveal.
There have been a number of occasions when police have been unable to read the plates on bikes because of their size.
The problem relates to handheld speed cameras using laser technology and those used on tripods, but does not affect the Gatso-style cameras, which can zoom in on hard-to-read plates.
Because motorbikes do not have to have a front plate, the camera operator has to spin round in an effort to capture the registration as the motorbike speeds past.
Bikers using the illegal “Ninja” font on their plates also cause difficulties and are subject to a clampdown this month by road policing officers based at Stanway, near Colchester.
Highway bosses at County Hall, Chelmsford, were told “enforcement related to speeding motorcycles was difficult” because the size of the number plate “often resulted in the offender evading camera detection”.
In a bid to combat the bikers, special road markings have now been put down in some parts of the county to help speed be detected by Essex Police's helicopter.
A spokesman for the Essex Casualty Reduction Board, which includes Essex Police and the county council, said illegal plates were to blame for the unreadable registrations.
He said: “Our trained technicians are able to read the images provided by our fixed and mobile safety cameras in the vast majority of cases. Where this is not the case it is often because number plates don't meet the requirements of the law and this is a prosecutable road offence.”