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Author Topic: Vanity License Plates & Personal Safety  (Read 1147 times)
KE6JIG
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Posts: 20




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« on: June 13, 2007, 02:25:57 PM »

A quick check of the eHam forums shows this topic hasn't been discussed for about four years and although I'm certain I'll get mixed responses over it, I feel it bears repeating.

Thousands of ham motorists around the country have vanity / personalized license plates with their call sign on them.  I understand those who want to do this and am not chastising them for it or trying to dissuade them, but just caution them.  Say some idiot cuts you off, you yell at each other as you drive, then you both go your separate ways.  Except this guy jots down your license plate and figures out a way to lookup your call...he now has your address and you may possibly have an unexpected visit.

While the chances of this happening are slim, the chance exists non the less.  

Just some food for thought...


73..

Paul
KE6JIG
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WB2WIK
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Posts: 20633




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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2007, 03:05:02 PM »

I'd guess anyone with the wherewithall and spare time to go through that trouble would get your address, anyway.

DMV records aren't the most private.  

If the irate driver were both irate and a bit nuts, he could also follow you home and then not only know where you live, but already be there with you.
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W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2007, 04:56:10 PM »

<< A quick check of the eHam forums shows this topic hasn't been discussed for about four years >>

You're incorrect. There was a lengthy discussion just last year.

It's a non-issue. Contrary to popular belief, the average criminal would not go to that much trouble.

If you're that concerned, take the radios out of your car, off your belt and the antennas off your home roof and use EchoLink.

Paranoia Reigns!!!

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland - soon to be Naugatuck, Connecticut
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KE6JIG
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2007, 05:38:15 PM »

Lon...

I have to disagree with you, it really is an issue when it comes to personal safety, at least here in California. Most of the general public has no idea the lengths someone would go to if they feel they've been slighted. It's the old "it'll never happen to me" mentality. Complacency is what will get you into trouble. And alot of times, it's not the "common criminal" you need to worry about.

Again, all I was trying to do was just pass on a common sense safety tip and not try to dissuade anyone from getting these type of plates.  

And no, I am not paranoid.

73..

Paul
KE6JIG
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KB9CRY
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Posts: 4283


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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2007, 07:46:56 PM »

Personally, I have both my callsign and kennel name displayed on my license plate holder on both end of my vehicle.  If you're able to read these after I've run you over/off the road here in Illinois for being a jerk, then more power to you.  And just try to come a callin'.  
You'd be met at the end of the driveway by either my lawyer, my dog or my favorite arm.  Just try to mess with me and you'll be messed with....
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KE6JIG
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Posts: 20




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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2007, 08:22:18 PM »

Phil..

Good point about meeting the bad guy with either your dog or favorite sidearm.  More than likely, I would do the same.

As a side note, I saw you like Belgian's.  We had our Belgian Malinois (Max) for 14 years.  We had to put him down last January due to severe dysplasia in both his hips.  He was very protective and territorial but he was also the sweetest pup around.  He wouldn't let anyone come near his home or us that he didn't know. He was the best...

73...

Paul
KE6JIG
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ONAIR
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Posts: 1747




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« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2007, 03:04:50 AM »

    I own a very expensive exotic car.  Last year a criminal was able to track my plate number to my home address, and break into the garage to steal it.  Luckily he was apprehended and the car is OK, but he was able to get my personal info, somehow through DMV records (it's a regular plate, not ham call).  Solution?  I now register the vehicle to a business address! (No I don't drive it to work)
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2007, 10:24:18 AM »

>>"Say some idiot cuts you off, you yell at each other as you drive, then you both go your separate ways."<<


Maybe the situation could be avoided entirely by not responding in that fashion?  

Take it light, keep your joy with you, never let anybody else steal your joy.  

Smile.  

Takes two to tango.


.
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W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2007, 11:44:43 AM »

Sir:

<<it really is an issue when it comes to personal safety, at least here in California. >>

Yet another reason to not live in the Goofy state!

If you drive sanely and don't get into road rage fights, nothing will happen. If you do, then I'm not all that sympathetic.

<< Again, all I was trying to do was just pass on a common sense safety tip and not try to dissuade anyone from getting these type of plates. >>

The two ideas, as you have expressed them, are mutually exclusive.

The point I am making is that call sign plates make no difference.

<<And no, I am not paranoid.>>

To each his own opinion. Smiley

Lon - W3LK
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2007, 01:40:20 PM »

I have had a call plate for five years with no bullet holes, etc.  In fact, during this time, it has been the catalyst for several interesting conversations with both Hams and non-hams.

Dennis KG4RUL
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KE6JIG
Member

Posts: 20




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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2007, 02:53:46 PM »

"..it really is an issue when it comes to personal safety, at least here in California."

<< Yet another reason to not live in the Goofy state! >>

"And no, I am not paranoid."

<< To each his own opinion. >>

Lon...Those comments weren't fair and you know it.  I try to help fellow hams with a bit of advice and I get chastised and insulted about the state I live in to my mental stability. Fine, have a chuckle on my behalf it doesn't bother me.
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6055




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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2007, 03:01:05 PM »

As others have said, there are other ways to have protection.  Me, I've got two others to help--my brother and his buddy, better known as Smith & Wesson.

Do ya feel lucky?    Well.........
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W3LK
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Posts: 5639




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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2007, 07:46:46 PM »

I make no apology for the California crack. I used to live there and wouldn't move back for any amount of money. There are more crazies per square mile there than anywhere else in the country.

I'm sorry you took the paranoia thing personally. I really didn't mean it that way and I apologize.

The rest of my statement, however, I still hold to: Anyone stupid enough to get into a road-rage fight will get no sympathy from me.

73,

Lon - W3LK
Baltimore, Maryland - soon to be Naugatuck, Connecticut
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A smoking section in a restaurant makes as much sense as a peeing section in a swimming pool.
REMOVED_BY_EHAM_KE4RAZ
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Posts: 16


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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2007, 10:20:37 PM »

That would make my day!

I have a lot innvested in personal protection paraphernalia. But of course I am the guy that when a travel agent approached me to solicit my business shortly after 9/11 I told her sure ...but only if she could get me booked on one of those terrorist flights.

73 Milo W4MLO
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KD8Z
Member

Posts: 169




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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2007, 02:12:20 AM »

Lon, you really should refrain from making clinical diagnosis of which you are completely unqualified.  The term paranoia is a psychological/legal diag. of mental illness irregardless of the layman's interpretation and as such borders on libel.  Freud did say; "that just because someone is paranoid doesn't mean he isn't being followed!"

73
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