For law enforcement, the front plate allows police to identify a vehicle as it’s coming toward them, said Trooper Jessica McIntyre, spokesman for the Ohio State Highway Patrol in districts that patrol areas including Dayton, Springfield and Xenia.
Removing the plate reduces the ability to identify a suspect by 50 percent, and vehicles are involved in 70 percent of crimes in the nation, she said.
“Not having a front license plate will create a challenge for law enforcement because officers will not be able to quickly identify a vehicle that may have been stolen or used in a crime by utilizing that front plate,” Cara Zinski-Neace, spokeswoman for the Dayton Police Department, said in a statement.
Still, McIntyre said she believes the change will not significantly impact officers’ ability to do their jobs, as they can still find information about the vehicle and owner with information from the rear plate.
“We adapt to changes. The patrol does and other agencies as well. So it doesn’t pose a problem,” McIntyre said. “We just adapt to the situation or what comes down as far as the legislature is concerned.”
She said doing away with the requirement will be a “breath of fresh air” for motorists, as many vehicles are not manufactured with a place for a front plate.
“That’s going to be a blessing to a lot of people, is that they don’t have to mess up their vehicles or pay for vehicles in order to have a front license plate on it,” McIntyre said.