The penalty increase from $50 occurred after WA Police found a record spike in the number of drivers deliberately altering their plates.
Common examples include installing ‘flipping’ mechanisms and remote controlled shutters, using protective films and bending the corners of plates to obscure the registration number.
Acting Police Minister John Day said the most likely reason was due to hoon drivers trying to prevent detection from speed cameras and red-light cameras.
“They could also have outstanding warrants, not have a licence or be part of an organised crime syndicate and want to deliberately avoid detection by our state-of-the-art traffic vehicles,” Mr Day said.
The Acting Minister said WA Police made the Government aware of the growing trend of drivers shielding their plates and responded accordingly.
“These are deliberate acts by drivers to break the law and prevent identification, whether it be through speed or red light offences, or to prevent being located by an automated number plate recognition (ANPR) fitted WA Police vehicle,” he said.
WA has a successful electronic enforcement regime for speed and red light offences as well as 48 state-of-the-art vehicles with ANPR hardware, making it attractive to repeat speeders to try and avoid detection.
“The higher penalty provides a significant financial deterrent,” Mr Day said.