I was struck particularly by this passage in the AP story about specialty license plates in South Carolina:
There are 370 plates currently issued in South Carolina, and a bill in the Legislature next year could nearly double that to more than 700. While the proliferation may be well intentioned, law enforcement officers and the head of South Carolina’s Department of Motor Vehicles say the increased number of options make the plates hard for law officers to decipher…
Say what? MORE vanity plates? There’s not much in this world that South Carolina needs less.
And of COURSE they hamper law enforcement. Always have. Aside from giving us something perfectly stupid to have arguments about in the Legislature (allow this plate, not allow that one?).
Yet another of my pet peeves, and someone is, predictably, trying to make it twice as bad. And guess who it is — yep, Michael Pitts, the representative who suggested that South Carolina abandon the Yankee dollar as currency and replace it with gold and silver. That guy.
Folks, license plates distributed by the state are about identifying your vehicle for law enforcement purposes, and showing that you’ve paid your taxes. Period. They should perform those functions as plainly as possible, with a minimum of Mickey Mouse.
You want to express yourself, buy a bumper sticker. Or a sketchpad. Or start a blog. Or post a video on YouTube. Twitter and Facebook are freely available. Anything you choose. But don’t ask the state of South Carolina to do it for you.
We should be ditching specialty plates altogether, not adding new ones.