Drivers Beware of New Texas Law Concerning License Plates - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/23/03

Drivers Beware of New Texas Law Concerning License Plates

NewsChannel 11 has received numerous e-mails concerning the new license plate law and folks are confused about what is legal and what is not. Basically, no part of your license plate, the numbers or state can be obstructed from view.

Driving-Related Legislation Taking Effect September 1, 2003
Take a closer look at the new laws of the road taking effect September 1st, 2003.
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Drivers beware of a new law that went into effect September 1st. It involves the bracket that goes around your license plate. The most popular ones show support for your favorite university, the dealership you purchased your car from or to display affection for your favorite pet. But whatever the reason some of these brackets are now illegal.

"Any bracket that the plate is housed in, if it covers the letters, numbers or makes them unreadable then they're not acceptable anymore," says Sgt. Ronnie Sowell with the Lubbock Police Department.

In fact, you can receive up to a $200 fine if your license plate is in violation. But some Lubbock drivers say that's a little too much for a seemingly harmless decoration.

"It doesn't make much sense to me. Especially I mean there's a big difference you can see West Virginia right there, Texas plates are pretty obvious I can spot them easily," says one Lubbock Driver.

"I don't see why it would matter as long as you could see the license plate," says another driver.

But Lubbock police say license plates often provide the first clues when solving crimes. "In a situation where you've got suspect vehicles if you can't read the license plate because those are, there's a lot of blue vehicles, white vehicles so license plate information becomes critical when you're looking for suspects especially in felony situations," says Sowell.

The Spirit Shop across from Tech sells hundreds of these brackets each year to customers. Manager Kevin Aaron says he will continue to sell the brackets because many customers come from out of state to buy them. But he's warning customers about the new law.

"We'll make sure that every customer who buys one will know that they are illegal if it covers any part of the license plate. That's one way to ID people so if it makes it easier for law enforcement then that's great whatever they need to do," says Aaron.

The bracket itself is not illegal, but if it covers any portion of the numbers, letters or the state it is illegal.

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