Speeding drivers saved by magic number plates

Hong Kong - Technology is keeping one step ahead of the long arm of the law. This is nowhere better illustrated than in southern China where drivers are escaping fines for speeding thanks to a device that would make the likes of special agent, James Bond, green with envy.

According to news sources, the devices change the numbers on number plates of offending drivers within seconds, thus helping them escape capture by the police.

"More than 40% of cars caught on camera for speeding and other offences either cover up their plates or use fake number plates. Our chances of capturing them is virtually non-existant" lamented a traffic policeman in the Yangjiang, Guangdong province.

The remote-control device ranges in price from 1000 yuan (about $140 US dollars) to an advanced version that can alter plate numbers in seconds which sells for about $419.

It would certainly appear that the age of covering up number plates by hand has become a thing of the past and that speeding motorists are using new technology to escape justice.

"These devices are really convenient and economical too" boasted one retailer from Guangzhou, Guangdong�s capital, who preferred to remain anonymous.

According to Xinhua, the state news agency, the Chinese government has also cracked down on citizens pretending to be member of the People�s Liberation Army and has confiscated thousands of fake military vehicles and number plates. The agency revealed that the police are hesitatnt to pull over drivers of vehicles with military number plates even if the drivers are flagarantly breaking the law.

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