Bill Would Eliminate Front License Plate

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A proposed bill in the Ohio House of Representatives would eliminate the state’s requirement to display a front license plate on all vehicles, but law enforcement agencies around the state are against the measure.

This isn’t the first time state representatives are considering the legislation and some are undecided. In the few times the bill has been introduced, it’s never made it to the House floor.

“If this bill moves forward, it will surprise me,” said State Rep. Ron Gerberry, D-Austintown. “The argument that’s going to be presented by law enforcement is going to make this bill very difficult to pass.”

Those in favor of the bill said it would save the state and Ohioans money.

“There will be a realization of savings to the people who purchased the registration from the state of Ohio, but the bulk of the savings are going to come at the Department of Transportation,” said State Rep. Nick Barborak, D-5th.

ODOT would save about $1 million annually.

Barborak still wants to reach out to local law enforcement to hear their side of the argument, which is that two license plates are better than one.

“You can’t believe how many good arrests came because somebody had two different license plates,” said Chief Jack Nichols, Boardman Police Department. “One on the front and one on the back of the car, and it’s a big bonus, a big plus for law enforcement.”

All five states surrounding Ohio require just one license plate. But police in the Buckeye state said it gives them the edge when they have to find vehicles involved in crimes.

“There’s a motor vehicle being used in almost every crime, and it just makes it that much easier for law enforcement to spot the thing that we have to look for,” said Nichols.

The bill would have to be passed out of committee before the House could hear testimony and vote on it.

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