Thursday, December 6, 2007

Ministry of Transportation to fix laughable mistake

The Ministry of Transportation rejected an application to have replacement plates for REV JO after 19 years. The original reason sighted was that the term 'REV' could encourage speed racing. An alternative REVRNJO was rejected because it represented religion. The silliness of the decision made big news and the 9 person committee was forced to reconsider the original decision. They once again rejected plates because REV could refer to an alcoholic drink and encourage drunk driving.

Premier Dalton McGuinty stepped to the plate to bring common sense to the issue. All plates that have already been issued will be allowed to be renewed. The government will set new guidelines for license plates next year.

The government thinks very highly of the impact of license plates. Does a license plate really have more impact on fellow drivers than (currently unregulated) bumper stickers? At least bumper stickers offer a clear message instead of plates that are open to various interpretations.

The new guidelines should be simple, easy to apply consistently while keeping in mind the fundamentals of freedom of speech. Plates should be banned if they use foul language or in appropriate sexual references. The system used to put in guidelines for media could be easily transferred. Plates that promote hatred or discrimination should also be banned. Anything more complicated will be difficult to define and apply. This will allow the free expression vanity plates were meant to provide to motorists.

Anyone making decisions on drunk driving, speeding or any other bad driving habits based on someones licence plate, do not deserve to have a drivers license.

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