Safety matters: Keep the front plate on Ohio vehicles

Safety matters: Keep the front plate on Ohio vehicles

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Betsy O'Connell started this petition to Ohio State Senate and


Poorly conceived and hastily enacted plan to eliminate front license plates will make law enforcement more difficult and threatens to create systemic chaos. 

As part of a bill to fund road and bridge repairs in Ohio, some legislators slipped in a provision to no longer require a front plate. While that bill was signed into law, the front plate removal doesn’t go into effect until July 1, 2020. Ohio legislators have time to rescind this poorly conceived change. In order to do that, they need to hear from organizations, businesses and residents that Ohio will be safer as a 2-plate state.  To help, please sign this petition.

Law enforcement supports keeping the front plate. People who want to remove the front plate for aesthetic purposes, an inexcusably weak reason to make police work harder and criminal activity easier in Ohio.


  • Most U.S. states – 31 – and every other country in the world require both rear and front plates. No state has removed its front license plate in 40 years. In 1979, Connecticut eliminated front plates, only to reinstall them several years later at the urging of law enforcement. And other states are now looking to add front plates. Why go backward?
  • Removing the front plate reduces the ability to identify a suspect vehicle by 50%. Motor vehicles are involved in 70% of serious crimes in the U.S. including murder, assault, robbery, drug smuggling and more, according to the National Sheriffs’ Association.
  • License plate recognition technology allows police officers to determine if a vehicle is associated with a crime or has been stolen. These scanners do not identify individuals. This important crime-fighting technology collects only a picture of a license plate and is able to determine the location and time that picture was taken.
  • Front plates are crucial identification tools for Amber and Silver alerts.
  • In 2013 and again in 2015, Ohio legislative task forces determined in studies that front plates were needed as valuable, cost effective crime fighting tools.
  • Not having a front plate makes it more difficult for school bus drivers to identify careless motorists who ignore flashing red lights and pass buses with no regard for schoolchildren.

  • A criminal preparing to rob a convenience store doesn’t back into a parking space. Without a front plate, it will be much harder for store cameras and witnesses to identify the vehicle.

  • Burglars similarly don’t back into driveways before they break into homes or steal packages from porches. Without a front plate, it will limit the effectiveness of home surveillance systems.

  • Without front plates, it will be more difficult for Ohioans to identify ride share drivers.

Please sign this petition.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 100!
At 100 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!