Driver told to return ‘appalling’ October 7 plates

February 8, 2024 by AAP
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The driver of a car bearing custom number plates that appear to reference a deadly attack on Israeli communities has been ordered to return them or risk the vehicle’s registration being cancelled.

Image: EACJ on X

A white Ford Ranger ute with the numberplate OCT7TH was spotted in Sydney, sparking a complaint to supplier myPlates.

The plates were described as “repugnant” by Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-chief Peter Wertheim as they appear to reference an attack on southern Israel on October 7.

They were issued weeks after the deadly Hamas attack, during which more than 1200 Israelis were killed and up to 240 taken hostage.

Israel’s subsequent bombardment, blockade and ground invasion has killed nearly 28,000 Palestinians and left more than 67,000 wounded, according to the latest figures from Gaza’s health ministry.

Transport for NSW apologised on Thursday for the plates not being flagged as offensive at the time they were issued and for any distress caused.

“Unfortunately, in this instance, the filtering process put in place did not identify the combination,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

“The owner has been made aware of the reason for these numberplates being recalled.”

The custom plates were issued in December 2023 and a complaint to the manufacturer was recorded on January 23.

However, it was not escalated to the transport authority until Wednesday.

Roads Minister John Graham on Thursday said his department became aware of the complaint the previous day and “acted immediately”.

“We don’t know the story behind it. But whatever the story is, this is something that if people saw it they would be upset and we want it off the road rapidly,” he told Sydney radio 2GB.

“We’ve issued an order for it to be recalled … the request is now that these plates are in within 48 hours, but it might take up to a week.

“If they don’t come back in, the registration will be cancelled altogether and the car is coming off the road.”

But Mr Wertheim said more was needed to prevent people from misusing licence plates to spread political messages.

“The measures taken by state and territory transport authorities have clearly been inadequate,” he said.

“It is time for these bodies to work together to put into effect a nationwide crackdown to stop this appalling practice once and for all.”

MyPlates has been contacted for comment.

The Executive Council of Australian Jewry’s co-CEO Peter Wertheim told J-Wire: “The recall of the “Oct 7” licence plate is welcome news.  We would like to see systems put in place to prevent licence plates being issued in the first place if they bear hateful or violent messages, and to recall plates bearing such messages quickly and efficiently once a complaint has been made.”



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