Ohio House waters down proposal to eliminate front license plates

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Should Ohio do away with front license plates? It’s a debate happening at the capitol. Right now Ohio is one of more than two dozen states that require a front and back license plate. But surrounding states Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Indiana do not require them.

In Committee Representative Alicia Reece (D-Cincinnati) tried to amend Ohio’s transportation budget bill to end the requirement of having a front license plate Thursday, “Citizens in my district have been saying this is wrong,” Reece said. Cincinnati borders Kentucky and Indiana and Reece said her constituents believe it’s unfair Ohio drivers are targeted while other states are not.

Reece’s amendment was watered down Thursday to make not having a front license plate a secondary offense for parked cars, meaning Ohio drivers who are legally parked cannot be ticketed. The bill now heads to the house floor for a vote on February 28th. At that time Reece will have one final chance to amend the bill. “I think at the end of the day, we have to move to getting rid of the front license plate,” Reece added. If the bill passes the house, it heads to the Senate, and the Governor’s desk.

Supporters of the bill say front license plates are a waste of taxpayer money, “It ruins the look of the car and you have to drill holes in the bumper,” said Vishnu Komari, an Ohio driver who would prefer only a back license plate. Supporters of both plates believe it’s better for law enforcement, “I think it’s a good idea to have both front and back plates for the very reason it helps law enforcement officers,” said Columbus driver Claudia Ruedrich.

Others bills regarding license plates are currently in various committees but Reece’s amendment would have been pushed through faster with the state’s transportation budget.

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