Fake License Plates Spied on an Army of Chinese Cars

A recent illustrated expose making the rounds online depicts an all-too-common practice among China's wealthier drivers: affixing fake military license plates to the bumpers of their luxury vehicles.

At least 8 different luxocars with the identical license plate number "02595" and the red PLA prefix were caught in the act, including high-end models by Audi, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, VW, and Range Rover. Judging by the vast number of imitation license plates seized and shown off by governmental authorities (above), it's likely that the “elite eight” are just the tip of the fake plate iceberg.

Why would Chinese car-owners risk the possibility of prosecution by engaging in such a blatantly public illegal activity?

It seems that Chinese military vehicles often avoid heavy traffic by driving in lanes restricted for public transit, marked “off limits” and so on – slapping on a fake military plate would allow non-military drivers to exploit these privileges in order to ease their personal commutes.

China's increasingly outspoken 'net denizens are having a field day with the story. Most express irritation that judging by the makes and models of the vehicles, it's China's loud & proud nouveau riche who appear to be the main abusers.

“The police do not stop them,” explained one particularly astute commenter,  “and the traffic cameras do not photograph them, because it is the military district's responsibility, so the police are unable to control them, but then the military district also has no one assigned to control them, because the military has no duty towards traffic control, that's the traffic police's responsibility.”

Sounds like somebody in China's been reading Catch-22... and putting it into practice. (via ChinaSMACK and AHP)