From The State House News Service February 1, 2012. A group representing New England’s police chiefs has unanimously endorsed license plate redesign legislation that supporters say would make plates more easily identifiable and help law enforcement to apprehend criminals. The legislation (S 1798) would require plates to pair up to four alpha-numerica characters with one easily recognized symbol, such as a star, heart, circle or diamond. At a Transportation Committee hearing last October, the proposal’s chief sponsor Gary Richard of Danvers, representing the non-profit organization EZ-ID, said the strings of six random numbers and letters on most license plates are more difficult to recall than the proposed five-character plates that feature a symbol mixed in with the letter and numbers. According to EZ-ID, children learn symbols before they learn to read and studies show children as young as two and a half can remember a symbol a week after seeing it while both children and adults have trouble recalling strings of random numbers and letters. Senate Republicans are circulating word of the endorsement of the bill by the New England Association of Chiefs of Police, saying it’s indicative of growing support for the bill among public safety organizations, including three police chiefs groups in Massachusetts. In a letter on behalf of the association’s board, NEACOP President Richard Campbell called the proposal, sponsored by Sen. Bruce Tarr, “truly a worthwhile project that deserved the support of law enforcement.” Campbell said, “It not only serves the need for vehicle identification in cases of child abduction, but also serves as a tool for vehicle identification when a motor vehicle is used for any criminal activity.” The bill’s supporters have dubbed it Molly’s Bill, named for Molly Bish, a teenager who was abducted while working as a lifeguard in Warren in 2000 and whose remains were found three years later.
About Owen Gallagher
Owen Gallagher is an experienced insurance litigator as well as a certified mediator and arbitrator who specializes in insurance industry disputes. His interest and affinity for insurance began at a young age working the counter at his father’s assigned risk agency in Roxbury. Over the course of his career, Owen has argued a number of cases in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and has helped agents, insurance companies, and lawmakers alike with the complexities and idiosyncrasies of insurance law in the Commonwealth. Owen can be reached here.