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Lawmaker moves to eliminate front license plates

Posted at 4:55 PM, Jan 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-28 20:13:32-05

Twin Falls Senator Jim Patrick has brought forward a bill to get rid of front-facing license plates on Idaho vehicles except tractor trucks and wreckers.

The Republican senator introduced the measure to the Senate Transportation Committee. Since it was only an introduction, there was no discussion on the bill.

In his introduction Sen. Patrick said it is not uncharted territory. He gave the example of motorcycles and ATVs as exempt from having the front facing plates.

"Rather than identifying another class of car, which they're there, it's simpler just to say let's just take them off the front of all cars," he said. "I think there's some real support to do this."

Idaho State Police have come out opposing the bill. Spokeswoman Teresa Baker says the front plates serve several functions to promote public safety.

"The public frequently calls police with only a license plate number when reporting incidents that occur on our roadways such as road rage, impaired driving or distracted driving," she said. "The front plate is also vital to law enforcement in apprehending suspects in crimes in progress such as stolen vehicles, kidnappings and robberies.  Without a front plate a suspect can easily back into a parking space and avoid detection. "

Sen. Patrick did not disclose why he was brining up this legislation. He left the podium promising a healthy discussion on the matter if it received a hearing.