Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Scrapping Front Vehicle License Plates Saves Taxpayer’s Millions
Springfield, IL—Illinois is considering ending the requirement for the front plate on cars and trucks. This is a fiscally responsible move that’s long overdue.
The primary reason for front license plates has been the intense lobbying effort of the 3M Company, holder of the patent for the special reflective paint every state uses in their manufacturing process.
The rear plate is adequate for police plate reading software and the photo traffic extortion revenue programs.
In addition to their political lobbying and generous campaign contributions, the 3M Company exhibits at the Nations Sheriff’s and IACP conventions where they recruit police administrators to preserve the unnecessary and expensive front plates.
The States of California and Texas would reap the biggest cash bonanza by scrapping the front plate. Contact your legislature if you live in a state that requires two plates and help them curb the wasteful practice.
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This is a horrible idea, Paul. Picture yourself driving down Ashland Avenue looking for a Toyota Camry used in an Armed Robbery. Every fifth car is a Camry. All you know is that the last digits of the plate are 456. You can't see the rear plates of the oncoming cars, but you definitely can see their front plates.
Also, before Supt Phil did away with the "hotsheet," I worked with a guy who could actually find steals on the hotsheet. At least once a week, he's have me crack a U-turn to go after a steal he had spotted by looking at the front plate.
I wonder if it's coincidence that most states that require only rear plates are Southern states.
I didn't even know front plates were required in most states until I started noticing them on cars registered in Illinois, Ohio, Virginia, Texas, etc...
That's one of the things that kept me from registering my vehicle in Illinois when I lived there for a couple years. To me, that was almost as offensive as having to get a FOID just to touch a round of ammunition, coming from a state that hands out carry-permits like candy.
Yes, they did away with the Hot Sheet. As you know we read most plates from the rear because we can only get miniscule views of front plates in oncoming traffic.
I’d say you need to check out the police agencies on places like Phoenix where the single rear plate has not made police work more difficult.
Of course smarter criminals steal plates from cars of the same make and avoid detection anyway.
The plate reading software is great and far more effective than even the most observant copper.
I got a better idea: OK, it sucks, but charge extra to do without the front plate....say $25. So many stylish people (corvettes, most pontiacs, bmws, etc) don't want to put the plate on because it ruins the lines. OK, you pay more and the registration can have a notation (no front plate needed, bonus paid, or something on that order) that alleviates the problems.
But Illinois isn't ready for reform and the front plates will stay.
Can't tell you how many times exactly I spotted a wanted vehicle by seeing the front plate when I wouldn't be able to turn and see the rear plate but it happened a lot of times for me. There are so many cars in an urban area I hate maneuvering after a car to see it is the wrong one then being out of place to continue looking. You get a crime or hit and run and know they may be coming your way you want to spot them. If the plate/vehicle is stolen the only chance you have to catch him is during his getaway. Plate reading machines are only in very few cars on only a very few departments.
Paul, join me with the guys who are opposed to this idea. Please, think back to the days when you were on streets.
This can be an officer safety issue also. How many times do we approach a vehicle from the front before we get the occuptants out of a vehicle. Forget the cost in this case. I am more concerned about my fellow officers.
And no knock on Arizona police, but I think an officer on the South Side sees more action in a summer than they see in years.
Bad idea Paul. I routinely scan both the driver and the front plate of a car as it approaches me. I think it would be a huge mistake to eliminate the front plate. And you should realize that. Unless you were a "traffic guy" as opposed to being a real policeman.
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