One of the coolest espionage gadgets on James Bond’s Aston Martin was the license-plate flipper. At the flip of a switch, the plates on Bond’s silver DB5 would rotate, enabling him to change his car’s identity and avoid being spotted by various cinematic bad guys.
Bexar County DA Susan Reed (pictured) also thinks this is a cool feature — but not as it pertains to cars that travel the roads in Texas. After Mark Gibson, one of Reed’s investigators, spotted a company that was selling license-plate flippers over the internet, she brought it to the attention of the Texas Legislature, she says.
On May 17, the Texas House of Representative passed S.B. 1757, which criminalizes possession of a license-plate flipper, making it a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. Distributing or selling a flipper is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail.
The bill awaits the signature of Gov. Rick Perry.
Reed (pictured) says Texas doesn’t need people using license plate flippers to avoid law enforcement — or the fees on toll roads, for that matter. But there is one caveat about the proposed law, at least as it applies to Bexar County, she says.
“If James Bond comes to Texas and wants to use the flipper, I’ll give him immunity. I’ve always been a Bond fan. Anybody else can forget it,” Reed says with a laugh.
No word on whether the Lege will consider banning the most lethal feature on Bond’s sport car: the hidden, front-mounted machine guns. Don’t bet on it though. This is Texas, after all.
— John Council