Down in Front!

Bill would drop front license plates

By Matt Bartosik
|  Thursday, Jan 28, 2010  |  Updated 6:30 AM CDT
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Illinois Considers Dropping Front License Plates

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State Representative Jerry Mitchell has brought a cost-cutting idea to the front burner: eliminating the license plates on front bumpers.

Rep. Mitchell of Sterling sponsored a bill that would require Illinois cars to only bear one license plate, in the back.

Sterling says the plan would save cash-strapped Illinois more than $1 million a year in production costs.

But many Illinois police say that saving the cash wouldn't be worth the safety that would be lost.

"We would prefer to keep both license plates," state police spokesperson Scot Compton told the Journal-Courier. "It gives law enforcement another opportunity to identify either a stolen vehicle or a vehicle involved in some other crime or incident."

Police frequently get calls reporting a crime in progress, said Chief David Hayes of the Alton Police Department.

"An officer will speed to the scene, and people will give us a license plate number or a partial license plate number," Hayes said, reports The Telegraph. "If they don't have a front plate, there is no way we can make a positive identification of a car fleeing the scene."

Morgan County Sheriff Randy Duvendack agreed. "You're going to have to do a U-turn every time just to confirm you have the right one," he said.

But Mitchell argues that other states—19 of them, in fact—currently require only one plate on a car, and their crime rates are comparable.

The proposal is still in the House Rules Committee.

Matt Bartosik is a Chicago native and a social media sovereign.

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