Stupid Laws, 4,253rd Edition

Starting January 1, drivers in Arizona may be fined $135 if the name “Arizona” is obscured on their license plate. Many license-plate frames, say, for your favorite sports team, will have to come off. And why? Because the people are idiots:

Starting Jan. 1, police can stop you if “Arizona” isn’t clearly visible at the top of the plate. Violators will be fined an average of $135, plus court fees, depending on the city where the violation is discovered.

Law-enforcement officials say the law will help officers differentiate between in-state and out-of-state vehicles, a difficult task given the state’s profusion of specialty plates. Arizona issues license plates in more than 60 styles, from a plate honoring amateur radio operators to one that promotes wildlife conservation.

I can tell you with confidence that police officers’ inability to identify their own state’s license plates has never resulted in unrestrained crime (although some particular other inadequacies might). Other obvious solutions to this pressing problem—police officers could be required to memorize their state’s plate designs or some novelty plates could be discontinued—do not appear to have been discussed. No, this is a revenue-generating regulation. Speed traps and stop-light cameras must not be bringing in enough dough.

~ by Gabriel Malor on December 10, 2008.

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