Monday, March 15, 2004

Look out - it's a big day in license plate news

So, I missed this the first time around - but here's a Bee editorial on why specialty plates are a bad deal. Their view: "Government should get rid of all the extraneous messages and let license plates be just license plates."

And, here's an op-ed on why the Bee has bad plate policy. Of course, its authors are involved in the Yosemite Fund - which directly benefits from the specialty plate program, but whatever.

Full disclosure - my pitch for the CMLP in an earlier post today stems from my involvement in its creation. I was a fellow in the office of its sponsor, Speaker Emeritus (I know, I know, but all the former speakers insist on using the title, and I adore Herb, so whatever) Herb J. Wesson, Jr. So that plate is my baby.

But the Choose Life people are 100% correct - our process is so plainly in violation of the Constitution it's kinda funny. The process should be changed. And the legislation on fixing the problems is pretty good. One thing it addresses, which should be emphasized, is that future specialty plates won't be full-plate designs, like my plate or the Yosemite plate. They'll be modeled after the current firefighter plate - a graphic in the far left character position. It's a much better idea. Check out Michigan's special plate program. They have many, many designs, and can afford them because it's just a simple decal you slap on an otherwise uniform plate.

Though - a google search to find that previous link reveal all is not peachy in plate land. Apparently, Michigan law enforcement cites some of the same concerns about the legibility and recognizability of their plates. Read the article for more on the Michigan process.

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