Should Ohio drop the dual license plates?

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Two Ohio lawmakers want to make some changes to license plate requirements in the state, and it's all in an effort to save money.

State representatives Terry Johnson and Stephen Slesnick want vehicles to have just one license plate on the back bumper, and say it could save around $1 million annually.

In our commitment to balanced news, supporters of the bill say not only would it save the state money, but car owners as well whose vehicles aren't build for front plates.

On the flip side, some law enforcement officials say having front and back plates makes it easier to locate vehicles in crime or traffic investigations.

There are millions of drivers and cars with Ohio plates on the roads.  But as the state looks to save money, House Bill 133 could cut the number of license plates in half.

"Given the state of our state, and having drastic budget cuts, we have to look at all things possible that can generate revenue for the state," said Rep. Steve Slesnick (D), a sponsor of the bill.

The idea is to drop the front license plate, and save around $1 million.

"I guess the argument lies where, if there's a hit-and-run, or something that turns up on a security camera if you need to see it at both ends.  But, I don't know.  I think it sounds like a pretty good idea, a pretty good cost-cutting idea," said Seth Rosin of Cincinnati.

Where will the million or so dollars in savings actually come from?  If you remove the front license plate, and only have the one on the back, that's where state lawmakers say they're going to find these savings. It'll come through the cost of materials needed to make two license plates rather than their proposal of just one.

Of the five states that border Ohio, none require dual license plates. But the idea of getting rid of one doesn't sit well with police.

"We use that to identify individuals.  It's an identification tool for us.  I understand it would save the state a lot of money, however it also potentially would cause more problems for law enforcement when trying to locate individuals," Lt. Joe Macaluso of the Delhi Police Department told FOX19.

Slesnick says there are no plans for the potential saved dollars just yet, but he has an idea.

"That can be passed on to an entity that has yet to be decided.  One of the things we talked about was possible law enforcement, giving that money to law enforcement," Slesnick added.

Lt. Macaluso also said keeping two plates is key for witnesses to identify someone who flees a scene.  But, Slesnick says they just want to better the state.

If you use one plate, you're looking at a minor misdemeanor traffic ticket.

Slesnick says the bill hasn't been voted on yet in the General Assembly.

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