Driver slapped with bizarre fine for taping leaf to his number plate in bid to avoid charges

A leaf stuck to a number plate

The driver was hit with a number plate fine and speeding charge

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 05/10/2023

- 09:02

Updated: 05/10/2023

- 09:02

Motorists can receive a maximum fine of £1,000 for obscuring their number plate

A driver has been hit with two traffic fines despite trying to obscure his number plate with a leaf to avoid any charges.

Surrey Police’s RoadSafe campaign posted the pictures on X, formerly known as Twitter, saying that a driver was caught for the obscure offence.

The driver admitted to police officers that he had stuck the leaf on his number plate deliberately using double-sided sticky tape.

The leaf was stuck to both the front and rear licence plate, with tape being visible through one of the leaves.

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The X statement said: “There are times when camouflage is needed and can look good.

“Leaves attached to your number plate with double-sided tape is neither.”

The Toyota Corolla was stopped on the A3 at Guildford earlier this week, with a driver being slapped with a fixed penalty notice.

In addition to the number plate fine, the man was also caught speeding and hit with a traffic offence report.

According to PA, Surrey Police said the car was seen driving on the A3 Northbound exceeding the speed limit with “the number plate partially covered”.

Fines can be given out to drivers if they purposefully obscure their number plates, with a maximum fine of up to £1,000.

Motorists could also fail their MOT test if they drive with incorrectly displayed number plates.

The Roads and Transport service for the Metropolitan Police responded to the original post jokingly saying: “Were you in disb-leaf when you saw this?”

Another motorist joked: “Was it placed there by special branch?”

Others suggested that it might be a way for drivers to avoid getting caught by cameras in the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez).

One X user claimed: “That’s what happens when an undemocratic policy/tax is landed on a large portion of the population.”

Many have been critical of the Ulez scheme, with some drivers even breaking the law to avoid getting hit with the £12.50 daily charge.

A number of people calling themselves the “Blade Runners” have been ripping down Ulez cameras, cutting wires or even sawing traffic lights in half.

Metropolitan Police data shows 200 reports of cameras being stolen, as well as 595 cameras being damaged.


Ulez camera installation

Some drivers have been targeting Ulez cameras around London


A handful of drivers have been arrested by the police on suspicion of causing criminal damage, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan vowing to crack down on people targeting the Ulez cameras.

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