We told you a few weeks ago about a proposal in North Dakota to eliminate front license plates for vehicles costing more than $110,000.
Now you can add Texas to the growing list of states that want to eliminate the requirement for front license plates – at least on certain vehicles.
While we appreciate the proposed bill by Texas Rep. Ken King, we have to question his reasoning for limiting the exemption to luxury passenger vehicles with an MSRP of at least $60,000 for a base model.
King appears to be a little out of touch with the real world when he claims in an interview with The Austin American-Statesman, “It’s not a rich people bill. Almost every car costs $60,000, particularly a sports car.”
Well, not necessarily. The list of Chevrolet sports cars, for example, that DON’T cost $60,000 includes the base model Corvette and virtually all Camaros (including the base, 1SS, and 2SS models).
We’re glad our home state of Georgia doesn’t require front license plates, which are required by more than 30 other states. After all the outstanding effort by talented designers to make a car look great, there’s nothing that ruins the look faster than having to stick a front license plate on it.
The folks at gmauthority.com believe that the legislation in Texas doesn’t go far enough, calling for front license plates to be eliminated for all vehicles, not just expensive ones.
On the other hand, Doug DeMuro of autotrader.com counters by claiming that the value of having license plates on both ends of all cars is worth any ugliness. He writes:
“The primary reason I’m in support of front license plates is obvious: for safety. I know it’s absolutely unfathomable to any car enthusiast whose sports car has a pointy front end, but there are many situations in which front license plates actually help solve crimes — including dozens of locations where witnesses (and security cameras) are only able to view vehicles from the front.
“I know, I know: This is blasphemous. How is it possible that a vehicle can only be sighted from the front and not the rear? Really, there are dozens of ways. Imagine a store robbery where a car pulls into a parking space, the occupants rob the store, and then the car backs out. Imagine a hit-and-run where a camera only looks at a street from one angle. Imagine a situation where police know what car a suspect is driving and spot it on camera at a gas station where it’s only seen on camera getting gas from one angle.
“It’s hard to predict every situation, but really, you could go for days with all the possibilities — and it becomes very clear that public safety is enhanced and law-enforcement capability is improved when you’re able to identify a vehicle from either end.”
DeMuro points out that aside from 18 U.S. states and a few Canadian provinces, every single other country in the world requires two license plates. He writes:
“This isn’t even something that’s discussed in Japan, Germany, Australia, Mexico or Brazil. In these places, the mere idea that a vehicle would exist without two license plates is met with stupefied chortles from law enforcement.”
So what’s your take on this age-old question (in America only, apparently)?
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