According to details from KTLA, the California Legislature is looking into the possibility of researching electronic license plates for vehicles. The measure could help pull the state out of its deficit, but might be more hazardous as drivers can be vulnerable to car accidents caused distracted driving.
A national campaign has been launched by government officials and backed by celebrities who are against distracted driving. The main focus has been on cell phones (i.e. texting while driving, talking on the phone while driving, etc.), and electronic license plates featuring ads could be another distraction that can cause a wrongful death on the road.
California Legislature considering electronic license plates which may lead to distracted driving.
In an effort to close a $19 billion gap in state deficits, California Legislature has considered a measure that will allow the state to start looking into the possibility of electronic license plates for vehicles. California would become the first to implement the technology if the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recommends widespread usage — a measure that which could be a boost in the economy significantly.
“We’re just trying to find creative ways of generating additional revenues,” Senator Curren Price of Los Angeles, author of the proposal, told reporters. “It’s an exciting marriage of technology with need, and an opportunity to keep California in the forefront.”
The electronic license plate works just as a normal one when the car is in motion. When the vehicle is stopped for more than four seconds — either at a red light or in traffic — it switches to digital ads or other messages.
At least one company, Smart Plate in San Francisco, is developing a digital electronic license plate, but they haven’t started production. California Highway Patrol spokeswoman Fran Clader said his agency hasn’t taken a position on the matter, and a spokeswoman for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said he will be neutral on the matter until the proposal gets to his desk.
The DMV is required to submit its findings to Legislature by January 1, 2013. There has been no formal opposition as it passed through the Senate unanimously and will be heard on Monday June 21, 2010 by the Assembly Transportation Committee.
But what about the dangers this new proposal comes with? Suppose you’re stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. You’re paying attention to a digital license plate, and an ad for a product comes up. For that second, you’re distracted long enough to not pay attention to the flow of traffic, and when the cars move, you don’t. This creates the possibility for a rear-end car accident happening, which can do serious harm to your neck and spine.
Are whiplash injuries going to increase? Will there be more distracted drivers on the road? What is the up side and the down side to these electronic license plates?
Our San Diego car accident lawyer and this believe there are safer alternatives to generating money for the state. We aren’t saying this proposal a bad idea, but we do believe there is enough technology to distract you inside your car. Why spread it to the outside?
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