It makes the perfect stocking stuffer for that hard-to-please speed demon on your Christmas list: “Phantom Plate,” a new product that promises to help Mexican drivers avoid speeding tickets by hiding their license plate number from the lenses of traffic cameras.
The product, which sells online, claims to put a high-gloss finish on the license plate, which allegedly causes traffic cameras to overexpose its speed-trap photos. No license plate number, no speeding ticket.
It’s unclear how many spray cans Phantom Plate has sold in Mexico so far (Fusion reached out to the company but did not received a response). But the product’s internet fame has already drawn the notice of the city’s top officials. Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera has vowed to sanction anyone caught using the ghost spray, although it’s unclear how he plans to do that.
In any event, Mancera insists the city’s speed-trap cameras are well equipped and can still photograph license plates even with the spray.
The product initially went on sale last year, but apparently became a hot item this month after Mexico City passed new transit regulations to penalize speeders with steeper fines.
The spray is being both celebrated and criticized on Mexican social media. Some who have bought the product claim the entire thing is a scam, while other alleged customers claim they’ve been using it and haven’t been caught yet.
“Just in case, I bought the license plate covering and the spray three months ago and it’s all been well,” reads one alleged customer testimony on the company’s website. “I got the family package for my wife’s car and that of my son.”
The company, which is thought to be based in Puebla, Mexico advertises itself as a business with 12 years of experience and clients in over 20 countries, including the U.S. The company boasts that it’s technology has been featured on NBC and Fox News.
The company’s website claims it markets its product to “responsible drivers who have no intention of violating speed limits or ignoring street signs.” It claims that the phantom spray is helping motorists who are simply unaware of street signs or are forced to accelerate through an intersection to avoid a collision with another driver. The website, in all apparent seriousness, claims the product protects drivers from malfunctioning cameras.
“It’s nerve-racking thinking that although I’m driving at the correct speed, the camera can take the photograph and I don’t have money to keep paying more taxes,” reads another alleged testimony, from an apparent shill.
And if your whole family likes to drive recklessly, the Phantom Plate’s “family kit” includes three camera-repellent license plate coverings and a spray can. It’s the gift that will help you get through the holiday season quickly—or die trying.