Front license plate requirement could return to Ohio

Front license plate requirement could return to Ohio
State legislators, law enforcement want to change the law that would remove the requirement for front license plates in Ohio

CINCINNATI, Ohio (FOX19) - State legislators and law enforcement said Monday that Ohio should return to requiring front license plates on cars because they can do much more than help police catch drivers speeding.

During a press conference in Columbus, they said front plates on cars can help authorities stop serious crimes like human trafficking.

“It is clear that the front plate plays an astronomical role in helping law enforcement,” said State Sen. Jay Hottinger, (R) Newark.

The police chief of Grove City talked about how law enforcement tracked down the killer of OSU student Reagan Tokes in 2017 because of front plate reader records.

“The front plate was the only way for investigators to find that vehicle," said Police Chief Rick Butsco, Grove City.

Front plate requirements were dropped earlier this year as part of a larger transportation budget plan.

The law is set to go into effect next summer. Right now, it’s still illegal to drive in Ohio without a front plate and the citation is $25.

FOP president, Dan Hils, agrees that front plates are an important tool for officers on the streets of Cincinnati.

“If they’re getting all the traffic coming towards them, they can check numerous plates... stolen cars, wanted felons..” said Hils.

FOX19 NOW viewers shared their opinions with us on Twitter. Some said officials are “worried about the wrong stuff”.

Others said front plates are helpful and keep you safe, especially when you’re waiting on a ride-share service like Uber.

This isn’t the first time the issue about dropping the requirement for front license plates in Ohio has come up.

In 2015, few months after the shooting death of Sam Dubose by former UC police officer Ray Tensing, Cincinnati City Council discussed a resolution that would offer their support for a house bill that would remove the front license plate requirement for vehicles registered in Ohio.

Tensing pulled Dubose over for not having a front license plate.

In a now-closed petition, Dubose's fiance once said if it wasn't for front plate laws, Dubose would not have been stopped or killed.

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