In Stockholm at this time of year, the weather can cause many problems for motorists. Clearing snow from one's car windows is a daily chore, at least for those not fortunate enough to have covered parking. Unfortunately, motorists often neglect to clear snow from their headlights and indicator lamps. These don't work so well when covered with a layer of snow.
Even more often, drivers neglect to remove snow from their license plates. It sometimes does not occur to drivers how important it is to have their license places free from snow. This will become even more important when the Stockholm Congestion Tax trial goes into effect on 3 January 2006. The road charging system uses cameras placed on gantries over the roadway to read the licence plate of each passing vehicle. License plates obscured by snow could fail to register, defeating the intended purpose of the system.
So I was pleased to read today about a new device designed to help clear snow from the rear license plate. It fits neatly between the back of the car and the license plate and is activated by the press of button inside the car. When activated, the device tilts the license plate 90° downward, thereby pushing any accummulated snow out of the way.
The device can even be used when the car is in motion. This will be particularly helpful for those forgetful drivers who are reminded of the importance of a clean rear license plate only when they see the road charging gantry above the road up ahead.