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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

License Plates

By Dan Eastman
District 23

It’s time to eliminate the rule requiring a front license plate on our cars and commercial vehicles. I plan to introduce a bill to that effect in the 2006 Legislative Session.

I’ve considered this for several years, but have held off because the law enforcement community tends to prefer the current law. They say a front plate makes it easier for them to do their job. However, they agree that they usually obtain the information they need from vehicles’ rear plates.

The trucking industry has favored this change for many years, mainly because they experience costly, time-consuming delays at our ports of entry when their front plates have been lost or damaged. Current rules require they wait for a new plate to be shipped before they can continue their route.

I’m not sure requiring front plates is worth the price. Many states do not require them. They are constantly getting dirty, banged up and battered. Sometimes – particularly in winter – they are not even legible. I don't think we need them.

This bill would reduce costs and cut plate production in half. At this point, I’m not proposing a reduction in fees.

I think this is a statute that needs to be changed, and I think this is the year we can change it. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

34 Comments:

Anonymous Senator Scott McCoy said...

I wholeheartedly support my colleague's bill. I also believe that the front plate is duplicative. I have been contacted by constituents about this issue and they would support such a change.

11/03/2005 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to see how much parking-ticket revenue is generated from citing vehicles with no front license plates. I lost my front plate once, and as soon as it was discovered by Salt Lake City's parking enforcement, I was ticketed every 3 days until I got a replacement.

11/03/2005 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think youre idea to eliminate the front plate is stupid. Front plates are useful for a number of reasons including identifying vehicles that dont stop for school buses,when approaching from front it is the only means of identification. Also its useful in hit and run accidents, in about eighty percent of cases it is sheared off the vehicle on impact, providing an excellent clue for police.Easier identification of stolen vehicles. The front plate provides improved safety because they are reflective the make vehicles easier to see at night, when they are broken down on side of road. Yes there might be a cost savings but at what cost,safety, besides the cost of plates is factored in to the registration cost so unless you drop the regiustration cost by the same amount you in essence would be charging someone for two plates but only giving one. PLEASE DO NOT GET RID OF FRONT PLATES PLEASE. Also many one plate states have or are trying to go back to two plates. eg. Massachusetts and Connecticuthave already gone back to two plates IN.,GA, and LA are trying to go back.

1/05/2006 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is absolutly no benefit in going to one plate. It will hamper law enforcementand will aid the criminals as it will be tougher to identify them. Also when its determined this wont work it is very expensive to go back, look at Arizona, they are trying to go back to two plates and its going to be expensive. Please reconsider this.

1/10/2006 8:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Legislative Information
What are the benefits of having both a front and rear license plate?
Currently, 31 states have both a front and a rear license plate. Two states (Connecticut and Massachusetts) have recently returned to using two license plates. The Connecticut Legislature passed a law in 1999 requiring all vehicles to display both front and rear license plates.

Every national, and most state law enforcement groups support the use of front and rear license plates. National law enforcement studies have determined that police cars approach more vehicles than are followed making the front license plate a critical and effective identification tool.

Newspaper articles reveal how crimes are reported and solved when citizens and law enforcement officers identify vehicles based upon their license plates. Having front and rear license plates increases the likelihood these citizens and law enforcement officers will identify vehicles in their every day responsibilities.

Front license plates enhance the effectiveness of many new technologies used by law enforcement. For example, the use of laser speed enforcement is dramatically improved because a front license plate that is reflective provides an ideal target. Front plates are also used in video surveillance at weigh stations, intersections and toll roads.

A recent AAA survey found that 72% of respondents favored displaying both front and rear license plates.

All citizens benefit from the use of front and rear license plates. On a dark rural road, a fully reflective license plate on a parked car or abandoned vehicle will most likely be the only warning to oncoming motorists at night.

A front license plate also helps the growing number of citizen and neighborhood watch organizations.

Using front and rear license plates, anti-drunk driving organizations provide educational programs teaching their members how to identify vehicles driven by impaired drivers.

Legislative
Patrol home

1/10/2006 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Legislative Information
The Ohio Department of Public Safety and Ohio State Highway Patrol support the two-license plate requirement because of three major considerations:
Public safety – The front license plate is the only highly reflective item on the front of a motor vehicle. At night, this feature allows drivers to spot oncoming left-of-center vehicles with one headlight out or both headlights not lit (drunk drivers occasionally fail to turn on their headlights). It also allows motorists to spot vehicles at night which have become disabled on the road due to a crash or mechanical failure.

Crime prevention/criminal apprehension – From school bus drivers who observe the front license plate of oncoming motor vehicles which pass their stopped school bus to neighborhood block watch groups which rely upon both front and rear license plates to report suspicious vehicles, the front license plate is both a crime deterrent and tool to apprehend.

Often times witnesses and convenient store clerks use the front plate to identify suspect vehicles when crimes have been committed related to fuel theft and convenient store robberies.

Law enforcement investigatory tool – When investigating hit/skip crashes, law enforcement officers rely upon eyewitness accounts and physical evidence to track down drivers who damage property, injure, and sometimes kill with a complete lack of social responsibility. The front license plate is sometimes the only lead officers possess. The front license plate proves critical as a law enforcement tool in daily auto larceny investigation, DUI enforcement, and even bank robbery and homicide investigations.
Currently, 31 states have both a front and a rear license plate requirement and two states (Connecticut and Massachusetts) have recently returned to using two license plates. Because license plates are cut from large sheets of metal, labor costs are not significantly less for producing one plate instead of two. One cost which may rise however are insurance deductibles which will be paid by innocent motorists who are involved in hit/skip crashes which can no longer be solved without a front license plate.

To our knowledge, there have been not any valid studies that reveal a front-license plate appreciably affects fuel efficiency. However, it is our contention that any potential cost savings would be offset by diminished public safety, crime prevention, and criminal apprehension.

Legislative
Patrol home

1/10/2006 8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Tucson Region
Bill calls for two license plates
State would return to front, back system
By Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 12.25.2005
advertisementPHOENIX — So your boyfriend just gave you a license plate for the front of your car with your names inscribed on them inside a heart.
Well, if a Mesa Republican legislator gets her way, you'll have no place to put it on your vehicle.
Also gone would be special plates you can buy at the mall or the car wash extolling your love for cats, blondes or even the Denver Broncos. And forget about a plate that urges passers-by to ask you about your grandchildren.
SB 1028, sponsored by Rep. Marilyn Jarrett, would return Arizona law to pre-1988 days when all vehicles had to have two license plates, one in front and one in back. Lawmakers scrapped the idea at the time to save money.
Shawn Peters, a Tucson resident who bought a personalized plate for his fiancée — a third-grade teacher — that resembled a chalkboard and read "#1 Teacher," said he believes it would be beneficial to have the law passed here.
"It's a good idea," Peters said. "If someone hits you from behind, you can get their license plate number before they speed off."
Peters added that if the bill were to become law, it does not mean the end of personalized plates.
"I lived in Texas for 28 years before I moved here and that was the law there," he said. "A lot of people just put the personalized plates next to their real ones."
But Jarrett said she has nothing against all those cute license plates. Instead, she's doing a favor for the Arizona Automobile Theft Prevention Authority: The head of that agency wants the change because of some new technology that may help cut down on the state's high rate of stolen cars and trucks.
Agency chief Enrique Cantu said police in some other states have "license plate readers,"' automated devices that, when mounted on a patrol car, automatically scan any visible license plates. The system then checks the plates against a list of stolen vehicles.
"If I'm driving my car down the road and you're coming at me, I can't tell until you're past me whether your automobile is stolen or not," said Cantu. He said if a police officer knows the car coming up behind him is stolen it gives the officer time to figure out the best way to pull the vehicle over.
Cantu said that even if the state doesn't incorporate new technology, the idea of two plates makes sense.
"I can tell you from my experience in law enforcement it is much more difficult to steal two license plates than one license plate," said Cantu who was with the Washington State Patrol for 26 years and retired as a captain.
Some opposition already is brewing.
Andy Swatzell, an employee at Personally Yours, a personalized license plate maker at Park Place mall, said the law would deter people from buying the plates.
Albert Murrieta, a Tucson man, doesn't like the idea either.
"People like having personalized plates," he said. "I wish I had a Colts one."
Murrieta added that he doesn't see the point because "a police officer will follow you from the rear if they want to pull you over. I don't see a reason for it."
In addition, "I've had people come in and say it's going to ruin the front of my Corvette and my Beemer (BMW) or whatever," said Jarrett.
And then there are vehicles that can take a front plate but whose owners instead want to mount a plate extolling, say, their love for a certain purple dinosaur. "I expect a lot of flak," said Jarrett.
There's another potential problem: Nothing in Jarrett's bill allows the state Division of Motor Vehicles to recoup the higher cost of both producing a second set of plates and mailing them out.
Six years ago, when lawmakers last reviewed the concept, MVD put a $2 million price tag on the proposal. But since that time the number of vehicles has increased by nearly 75 percent.
Even if the bill passes, motorists who still want to make a special statement could purchase a set of official "vanity" plates from the state. But vanity comes with a price: They cost an extra $25 a year.
● Star reporter Alexis Huicochea contributed to this story.
Email this storyPrint this storyLetter to the editorDiscussCopyright © 2005
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1/10/2006 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This makes no sense. Commercial vehicles usually only have a front plate any way and this is needed at border crossings and scales etc for identification. If its eliminated how would trucks be identified?

1/10/2006 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it aint broke dont fix it. Leave as is. Two plates are better than one.

1/10/2006 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey great it will make it easier for car thieves hooray! will only have one plate to deal with.

1/10/2006 11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cant think that this will pass. Several other states like Ohio & Texas tried to pass this and it failed. Didn't pass in Montana or Colorado either, because there is no benefit to it and I doubt it would pass here. Cops wont support it I know that

1/10/2006 11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dont see why you would eliminate the front plate. I believe they have always been there for Identification. has something changed that vehicles no longer need to be identified? What happens when rear plate is not visible example a child molester is driving around following children, the children only see front of car, if no plate there how would the vehicle or its driver be identified? Is it that important to save a few bucks that you want to compromise our safety?

1/11/2006 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is going to look to people in other states like we are hard up in Utah cant afford two plates

1/11/2006 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course senator mccoy they are duplicative. they are supposed to be. Why would you have the front plate with a different number than rear plate. I'm glad to see we have such intellegent people in office

1/11/2006 8:27 PM  
Anonymous The Senate Site said...

Dear "Anonymous":

Ease up on the negative personal sarcasm. Intelligent people frequently disagree - it's an essential part of a healthy democratic process. We appreciate all your posts here but let's keep the discussion focused on policy direction.

Thanks.

1/11/2006 8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The one post that someone wrote about child molesters following children actually happened to my sisters child when they lived in michigan. The attempted abduction that took place involving her child was never solved.It was a case of the vehicle not being identified because it was only viewed from the front and in a one plate state such as Michigan identification was not possible.This is just one example why front plates are useful and should be kept. the small cost saving is not worth the risk of public safety. Thankyou

1/16/2006 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would move out of Utah if this became a "one plate state" I will not have my safety compromised by you're ill conseived plan to save a few bucks.

1/16/2006 8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Icertainly would hope that this does noy go through. I think in this day and age of post 911 every one wants more security. Why would you bring this in and risk having criminals and other undesireables, not being properly identified. I cant understand why any body would support this. I know some states have done this but I believe they are doing a great disservice to their residents, something I dont think we want here in Utah.Any law abiding citizen, with nothing to hide surely would not mind having front license plates.

1/18/2006 10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come the senate isnt responding to these comments, none of which seem very supportive,I might add. I was one of the people that originally supported this, but I have now changed my mind. There seems to be too many benefits to front plates to get rid of them. The reason I thought they should go was that I had no mounting bracket on my car for one but I went out and purchased one for five dollars, and now have my front plate proudly displayed on my car, and its there to stay. Thank you

1/18/2006 10:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know some have concerns with safety and law enforcement with the beneficial of front plates. However, the fact is many vehicles are not designed, equipped with a front plate bracket. It's time for the consumer friendliness to take place for those who purchase and operate their own vehicles. Our cars/trucks are one of our top prized possessions we have besides owning our own homes and/or those with families. All personally owned vehicles are considered personal property, not government property. People like myself spend hard earned money to drive vehicles we're proud of. Our dream vehicles for people like myself spend hard earned money on something valuable that include the looks, curve appeal, aerodynamics, and trying to eliminate concerns of any potential damage such as drilling holes in the front just to install a tag.

Some cars do not have a front location for the plate, but a possible spot over the front grill. For those vehicles not containing locations for front license plates, installing the plate over a front grill of a vehicle would restrict airflow under the hood causing the mechanics to overheat, and create potential fires.

Many modern vehicles come without the front plate bracket, and are designed that way in the 21st Century. Those vehicles with front plate brackets attached are eyesores for those built beyond the year 2000. Having said that, new vehicles are already damaged in the bumper with bolt holes in front bumpers only to firmly attach for the bracket and plate. As some states not requiring the front plate bracket, resale values of cars will hinder as a result of front bumper damage to the vehicle from holes drilled into the bumper for a front tag. Many new cars in dealers' lots are already damaged, due to the drilling for brackets, and it makes no sense to purchase a damaged vehicle. That being said, consumers and I refuse to even purchase or damage our own vehicles just to install a front dish.

All states need to consider the loss of vehicle resale value due to damaged front bumpers for the drilling of front plates would lead to loss of sales tax revenues. That means the lack of fundings will result in not hiring more officers to protect and serve, no new police technologies, road improvements, etc.

The biggest problem in my opinion is officers focusing on pulling people over for vehicle appearances than concentrating on dangerous drivers, who could injure or kill themselves and others on the roads. Police would concentrate only for those who are dangerous drivers and not pulling those over who lack a feature on front of vehicles, that the state provided, a front license plate. Not only it's a waste of time to cite many drivers who have vehicles not equipped with a bracket to place one on to begin with, but officers will have jus one primary focus rather than two to only keep accidents from happening than pulling people over of a meaningless feature that many states do not require. This is a perfect reason why some states like Utah needs to drop the requirement of front tags and window tint as well. I would trade those laws for a three hour continuing ed drivers course occuring every 4-5 years to update certain driving laws we tend to forget.

Based on several reports being seen through various police department websites, many stolen plates have been reported. Many of these plates are removed from the front and placed on another vehicle for thieves to scam other drivers on possible illegal activities. Court battles and wasted time are taken place as a result of accused innocent owners victimized of theft of that sort of identification. A significant amount of time is also wasted for police taking reports of plates reported stolen from innocent motorists due to the current front plate law.

I advise dropping the law, one place is suitable for one car.

1/25/2006 10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally understand the concern that it affects curb appeal, and over all looks of the vehicle, but imagine when you're child is followed or picked by a kidnapper or other such undesireable citizen maybe then you will understand the need to have front plates. We need every chance to identify these people, and safety far outweighs the looks of you're vehicle. Did you not read through some of these posts, they make perfect sense why we should keep front plates. I used to support the one plate concept too, but not any more, the thought of my child being followed by a child molester, and not being able to identify them sends shivers up my spine,and that said we need to keep them, and other states should also adopt front plates for these reasons.Besides these vehicles are supposed to come from the factory with the mounts, in which case the dealer would have already installed it so how could you not have one? If you want one plate so bad then I would suggest you move to a one plate state, you have eighteen to choose from. Thank you

1/28/2006 4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Ric-

Is this legal to do this on government computers, and on the taxpayers dime???

1/29/2006 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tragedy Strikes Close to Home

Christie's friend, our next door neighbor, dies after battling injuries suffered after being struck by car while walking with Christie

For nearly two years we've been reporting on this site the status of Ali Meyer. She was a next door neighbor of ours. Christie was like a big sister to Ali. It is with great sadness that we report that Ali died suddenly in her home on the morning of November 22, 2002.

The cause of her death is not yet known. It was a shock to everyone, since she was slowly showing some signs of improvement. In fact, the Meyers were already constructing a large wing onto their home to handle Ali's special needs and equipment. Ali was 13 years old, and has one sibling, brother Greg.

Thanks of those of you who have sent cards to Ali and have prayed for her. If you wish to send condolences: Dennis and Val Meyer, 6886 West David Ave., Littleton, CO 80128

How it all began

On Saturday night, February 10, Ali and our daughter Christie were walking home together from a nearby convenience store. As they were crossing at an
intersection, Ali was struck by a hit & run driver. (Christie was just a few steps ahead of her.) Ali's body was thrown 93 feet. The driver was caught and arrested a short time later at his home. He was tracked down in part because the impact knocked the front plate off his Ford Explorer. (See bottom for story of his day in court and sentence.)

What made the accident even more tragic was the fact that Ali's parents saw it happen! They were driving home at the time and saw a girl get hit by a car. They called 911, then went to help--and only then did they discover it was Ali.




Ali was in the intensive care unit at Childrens Hospital for five weeks, unconscious and in critical condition, with many fractures and some internal injuries. She then was moved up to the rehabilitation unit, where she officially came out of her coma, though she was barely conscious, responding occasionally by blinking her eye when asked questions..

Ali returned home

Ali came home from the hospital and had a much nicer environment for her recovery, being in familiar surroundings. She recovering very well from the physical injuries she sustained. But she still had many hurdles to overcome, including brain damage. She moved her body very little on her own; she had to be fed through a tube into her stomach; she was confined to a wheelchair; she didn't talk--she communicated by moving her head and blinking an eye for responses.

The driver was sentenced

The man who struck Ali, Dennis McNamara, lives just a quarter mile or so from us. His two children go to the same school as Ali. On that horrible night, McNamara sped from the scene and was pursued by a witness, who reported that McNamara tried to elude him by turning off his headlights and pulling down a side street.

McNamara pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident and driving while impaired (DWI). (Note: a DWI is less drastic than Driving Under the Influence; but perhaps McNamara was DUI, but unfortunately the police didn't test McNamara until at least two hours after the accident.)

McNamara was sentenced to about two years in work release. That is, he works his daytime job for General Electric, then spends the rest of his time in the County Jail. After he serves his time, he'll have to do community service (in a hospital), and will be on probation for TEN years.

The sentence certainly could have been worse, with McNamara spending a year or two in state prison--but the Meyers, compassionate people that they are, didn't want to see McNamara's children suffer too much. The sentence was also a bit light when when considers that it was discovered that he had a drunk driving conviction ten years ago.
******* **************** *****************
And also keep Christie Mauser is your thoughts and prayers-she was like
a big sister to Ali, and is obviously distraught about what she witnessed. She's already been through so much pain in her life as it is...

******** **************** *****************
There was a public policy issue involved in this tragic story. It was the front license plate that helped convict this hit and run driver. Ironically, it is my own State Representative, Don Lee, who for the second time introduced a bill in the Colorado Legislature that would eliminate Colorado's front license plate. He claimed that it would save the State money, but as Ali's father Dennis Meyer says, this bill sounds "penny wise and pound foolish." Dennis Meyer asked Lee to drop his bill, but Lee would not do so.

Fortunately, Rep. Lee's bill failed. Hopefully we'll never see this foolish bill introduced again. If you live in a state with front plates, don't let them be removed! If you don't have a front plate, talk to law enforcement about the benefits of having them!

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1/29/2006 10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

would car insurance rates rise because of this? It would seem that if its harder to identify and locate stolen vehicles, then the probability of rates increasing,are a good possibility

2/02/2006 8:39 AM  
Anonymous The Senate Site said...

It's dead.

2/02/2006 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone opposed to eliminating the requirement for two plates is a wining sniviling idiot. Just because they don't own a nice vehicle, they don't care that front license plates take away so much of a cars beauty. The front end is the show piece of the automobile and plates deface it. I see idiots on here say "uh....uh... what if a child molester is driving around and police are looking for him...uh...." Just shut up! When a vehicle is in motion, a cop or anyone else doesn't have time to read the plate anyway and if they are suspicious, they always turn around and follow the vehicle in which they will then see the rear plate. These people opposed to this are like fat married women being opposed to strip clubs. Just because they are too lazy and undisciplined to keep their husbands interested in them sexually, they don't want anyone else to get their husbands attention either. It's an issue or pure jealousy. They just create superficial excuses to keep the two plate law. Get a life and a real car.

12/02/2006 8:58 AM  
Blogger Gel said...

Here in Uk the police would hate front tags being dropped as they have so many electronic surveillance devices, incl speed cameras depending on front tag; also enables them to capture image of driver too.

I know we have far more of these damned things in UK than anywhere else; Big Brother has well & truly arrived.

1/02/2008 8:57 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

This is quite old, but I'd like to point something out. Some have claimed that the front plate is the only reflective part on the front of a car, giving it more visibility at night. Last time I checked, headlights reflected quite a bit of light back at an oncoming driver (and by reflect, I do mean when they're off, obviously they're bright when they're on!)

2/04/2008 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Q: What's the last thing to go through a bug's mind when he hits the front license plate of a car?

A: His butt!

2/04/2008 8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not all license plates are white so the reflective at night theory is BS.

2/05/2008 3:43 PM  
Blogger moblsv said...

I don't see how a front plate helps anything. Many sports cars are designed to have an aerodynamic front end which is negatively affected be bolting the flat surface of a license onto it. The front plate law isn't a safety law, it's a revenue generation law.

Please reintroduce this proposal!!!

2/27/2008 8:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares about some of your whining? I agree with this bill. I don't want to drill into my Bimmer's front bumper.

5/31/2008 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a sports car owner, I favor the move to not require front license plate frames. They look bad, are useless in the winter, are rarely used by police, and reduce the aerodynamics and possibly the MPG of my car.

I would rather pay the same fee, get one plate, and have the rest of my money go to improving the state.

6/25/2008 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact that many of you hinge your children's safety on the existence of front car plate is what sends shivers up my spine.

9/22/2008 1:57 PM  

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