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Senators, Law Enforcement Want To Save Front License Plates

Sam Hendren

A pair of Republican senators want to keep requiring Ohio vehicles to have front license plates. A new provision that drops that requirement goes into effect next year, so the lawmakers say they still have time to fight the change.

State Sen. Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township) and state Sen. Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) say law enforcement can use cameras in places such as gas stations, intersections and school buses to catch criminals. However Uecker says, being able to see a front license plays a crucial role.

“For all the school bus violators. The children that are at risk. For the amber alerts, the silver alerts, why would we want to diminish the capability that Ohio has,” Uecker says.

About 15 county sheriffs and police officers joined Monday’s press conference.

Jason Pappas, vice president of the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio, says removing front license plates makes it tougher for law enforcement to identify and catch people committing crimes.

Critics say drilling holes to attach a front license plate on can ruin the look and devalue a vehicle.

Lawmakers dropped the front plate requirement in the this year’s transportation budget. That provision is set to go into effect on July 1, 2020. Uecker believes holding a separate vote on this issue might bring a different result.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.