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Ride Hailing Apps Want Ohio To Keep Front License Plates

Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau

Lyft and Uber are reportedly asking that Ohio keep license plates on the front of vehicles. The Associated Press reports the ride-hailing companies say it's a safety measure.

Lyft spokeswoman Campbell Matthews says in a statement to WVXU that safety is fundamental. "The most effective way for a rider to confirm their ride is to match the license plate number shown in the Lyft app with the license plate of the arriving vehicle. By mandating front and back license plates on all vehicles, riders can more easily identify their correct ride."

Lawmakers passed a measure that would drop the front plate requirement earlier this year. Senator Cecil Thomas backed the measure and questions the need for front plates.

"I've not seen a significant difference between Lyft in Cincinnati or in Kentucky where they don't have front license places. I don't know what the logic is behind it," he says.

"I spent 27 years in law enforcement and very seldom did you write someone a ticket for one license plate," Thomas adds.

Former State Representative Alicia Reece opposed the requirement when she was in office and questions the need for front plates now. "The research shows that the stopping and the ticketing of those without front license plates was subjective," she says. "It was not administered across the board throughout the state. I think the state has moved in the right direction."

Reece says Sam DuBose was pulled over for not having a front license plate. He was shot and killed by a UC police officer during that 2015 stop. 

The requirement will disappear July 1 of next year. A measure introduced this July, Senate Bill 179, would keep front plates.

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Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio: and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.