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A02791 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Peoples-Stokes
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to requiring one number plate on the rear of each motor vehicle   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To repeal the two license plate requirement for motor vehicles in New York. This legislation establishes that only one license plate is required to be displayed on the rear of motor vehicles registered in New York.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 of the bill amends the vehicle and traffic law by repealing the requirement that two license plates must be displayed on motor vehi- cles registered in New York State. Section 2 and Section 3 repeal the commissioner discretion to issue, for any registration year, only one plate as a set of motor vehicle, in which event a set of disabled person or severely disabled veteran plates for a motor vehicle shall consist of one plate. Section 4 repeals that a set of number plates shall consist of two plates in the case of a-motor vehicle and one plate in the case of a motorcycle or trailer. Section 5 adds Section 131-b to provide that a set of number plates or two number plates pursuant to paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section four hundred two of this chapter. Section 6 provides the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: Eliminating the need for a front license plate will significantly reduce the State costs associated with production, storage, and shipping. The State will save money by producing half the amount of license plates. This money could be channeled to other needs such as road improvements. By producing half the amount of license plates the State will be produc- ing less waste. License plates are not recyclable and are difficult to dispose of properly. Less waste is always better for the environment. A front license plate restricts the performance of passenger vehicles. Modern cars are no longer being designed with front plates in mind. Installing the mounting brackets that are necessary to hold plates interfere with the cars' aerodynamic, often get damaged during the car washing process and also cause a devaluation of Collector's Edition or other such Limited Edition vehicles when required to drill or otherwise modify the from bumper. Those who move to New York must either deface or devalue their car by drilling holes in which to mount a front license plate, or spend time and money locating and installing parts to be able to mount a front plate. Unnecessary damage is sustained from minor bumper-to-bumper collisions, because the front mounting brackets on passenger cars can cause cracks and abrasions to the rear bumpers of the cars that they hit. Police officers will be more productive in stopping dangerous motor vehicle violations such as drunk driving, reckless driving, speeding, racing, etc., since their time will not be compromised by a New York motorist who simply did not have a front license plate display. Law enforcement officials might be opposed to a measure abolishing the front license plate requirement, as they might believe that losing the extra plate will make it more difficult for them to do their jobs in the best possi- ble manner. However, in the 21 states that do not have a front license plate requirement, there is no evidence of a decline in public safety as a result of the plate removal.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A9426 of 2009/2010, A686 of 2011/2012; A3824 of 2013/2014. A2993 of 2016   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law; provided that the commissioner of motor vehi- cles is authorized and directed to promulgate, amend and/or repeal any rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this act on its effective date on or before such date.
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