PDT Staff Writer
Lieutenant Mike Gore, Commander of the Portsmouth Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, says he is of the same opinion as the Division in Columbus has when it comes to a proposed bill that would allow Ohio vehicles to display only a rear license tag. The Ohio State Highway Patrol said dual plates help law enforcement when responding to the scene of an emergency, investigating hit-skip accidents or thefts at gas pumps.
“For us, it’s another tool that we have,” Gore said. “If you meet a car on a two-lane highway, it’s easier to get the tag, and particularly if you are looking for a car. Of course you can’t see across the divided median, but on a two-lane road, if you meet somebody, the tag is actually illuminated by your headlights. Once you’ve passed that car, and you look in your rearview mirror, you can’t make out the back one.”
State Representative Terry Johnson (R-McDermott), a supporter of the bill, did not respond to a call made to his phone on Tuesday, but in a news release, said it could save the state $1 million annually. Johnson and State Rep. Stephen Slesnick, D-Canton, introduced House Bill 133 in April. Slesnick is on record as also saying the move would be a cost-saving measure.
Backers say the proposal could also save car owners the cost of having holes drilled in vehicles not built to have front plates.
The bill would bring Ohio in line with Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Police oppose the change, saying it cuts in half their ability to identify drivers involved in traffic violations and crimes.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.