Monday, April 02, 2007

What's The Point Of A New License Plate?

The Star's Theodore Kim has a front-page story today announcing the BMV has chosen four, new plate designs which allows Hoosiers to log onto the BMV's website and cast a vote for their favorite design. Because of the growth in popularity of special license plates, only a minority of residents tag their car with the state's official license plate. BMV Commissioner Ronald Stiver told Kim that of the 5.4 million non-truck plates in the state, nearly 60 percent are specialty plates. And what about those "In God We Trust" speciality plates the BMV has been doling out to customers as if it was Indiana's official state plate? BMV officials tell Stiver it has issued over 400,000 of those plate since January. So in a matter of three months about 7.5% of automobiles in this state have been tagged with the "In God We Trust" plate. At that rate close to a third of the automobiles will have the plate by year's end.

So why even bother issuing a new license plate? There is no significance to the official state plate when the vast majority of automobiles are tagged with a plate other than the official state plate. It is also unlikely people will give up a special plate to choose one of the four finalists the BMV has announced. As Kim described those plate choices:

Two designs include close-ups of the blue-and-yellow flag fluttering in the background. A third features the state flag set in white against a simple blue backdrop. The fourth includes both the flag and the state seal.

It appears the BMV chose unappealing designs on purpose so people will continue to choose a specialty plate over the official state license plate. Here's a reason not to switch plates. "Switching to the new plates will cost the state between $12 million and $17 million, according to estimates," Kim wrote. What do you think?


John M said...

I agree with you in general, Gary. I see no reason why Indiana shouldn't keep its general license plate design for much longer, as do states such as Illinois, Michigan, and Missouri. On the other hand, the current standard plates are absolutely hideous. My recollection is that the use of specialty plates increased significantly after the introduction of the current plate and the computer-printed production in 2002. Keep in mind that there is also the issue of the first few months of those plates plates, the ones that were issued with the big, clunky letters and numbers (I have one of these still) that are hard to read.

By the way, at the very top of the Star story, there is a link to a gallery if you want to see the new designs. I think all are a huge improvement on the current design. I personally like #2, the very basic design with a navy background and white lettering and the logo from the Indiana flag.

So, in sum, I agree with you on the policy, Gary, but only after we get rid of the green abomination.

Being a bit of a license plate dork, I thought the most interesting part of the story was that another Hoosier idiosyncrasy is going by the wayside. The new plates will have a county sticker, but the county numbering system (where the numbers before the letter identify the county of registration) is going to be retired. This makes good sense, because it will allow people who move to a different county to change their registrations without getting a new plate, but trying to figure out an unfamiliar county number is one of my favorite pastimes when driving around the state. Yes, I'm a dork.

Anonymous said...

I'm still so angry over the God plates I can't care about the design.

Indiana's official religion is now Christianity. Great.

How about some righteous indignation over the ridiculous cost of plates/excise tax? We're in the top four nationally.

Anonymous said...

I like the state seal or state flag one (the first and last ones from the Star slide show).

I also think the state name needs to be at top with the county at the bottom. This is how OH, KY, and Floida do it. It just seems that the state is the first level, followed by county, so it makes sense the state name goes on top.

Oh, they have also started putting county numbers on the special plates. Look in the lower right hand corner and you will see a number for whatever county that plate is out of.

"Indiana's official religion is now Christianity."

Idiot. It is not just Christians that believe in God. I guess you don't hate Muslims or Jews, just Christians?

Wilson46201 said...

Senator Woody Burton, goofball brother of Danny Burton, would be astonished to learn that Moslems believe in God too. As an overly-believing Christian, I'm sure he meant the plates to apply only to his Baptist God, not some sort of Semitic God like A*o*ai or Allah...

Anonymous said...

I have an In God We Trust license plate. I bought it to show the A.C.L.U what i think about their communist agenda in this country. And for the rest of you who disagree. Don't buy the plate if it offends you. One thing nice about America is you have a choice.

Anonymous said...

They should replace the terrible ones we have now, and then keep the new design for much longer. However, this would require the General Assembly changing the law that says plates have to be changed every five years.

Anonymous said...

Uh, 11:42, you genius, here's the rub: (read slowly, because I typed slowly specifically for you):

You're welcome to a vanity plate. The God plate cost you nothing extra. All other vanity plates cost extra, and this one should've, too. Otherwise, it's state sanctioning of one religion.

And just as a general policy, any vanity plate that promotes one religion over another should be axed.

And just as another general policy, anything Woody Burton thinks up should have to pass a giggle and grin test, because he's just that goofy.

As for civil liberties, you can damn the ICLU all you want. Who's the first person to hold jealously to her civil liberties when the wolves are howling outside her door? The far-right, liberty-hating Attorney General's counsel. She's taking the fifth.
All because she ignored basic rules and became Alberto Gonzalez's legal bitch. Hmmmmm.

Kinda mutes your argument, dontcha think? (Still reading slowly?)

Any ICLU-hating right-wingers who feel likewise, consider your walking, talking contradiction. Civil liberties are a bitch, unless you need them.

Our government has no business sanctioning any religion. Ever. Period.

For proof of the founding fathers' intent, re-read Jefferson's manifestos, or Benj. Franklin's thoughts on same. Kinda hard to misconstrue their intent.

Anonymous said...

"The far-right, liberty-hating Attorney General's counsel. She's taking the fifth."

Only an idiot would not take the 5th. You have a political witch hunt, what else would you do? Ever heard of the name Scooter Libby? Ask him if it is a good idea to testify in order to help others out. If she did not take the 5th, every answer would have to start out "As I recall..." Anything she forgot and was discovered later would mean criminal charges. "Oh, you just forgot about that part. Yea right!!" The fact is, they want to ask a boat load of questions. They will do whatever they can to get her to get as detailed as she is willing to go because they want to hang someone. If not they can't get Bush or Rove, they wolves will feast on this lady. Taking the 5th is the smart thing to do.

Anonymous said...

"Any ICLU-hating right-wingers who feel likewise, consider your walking, talking contradiction. Civil liberties are a bitch, unless you need them."

The ICLU/ACLU stop being about "rights" when they got more involved in shaping public policy. I would support the group more if they actually just focused on narrow issues confined to the consitution. Instead, they go out of their way to get cases, get their name in the paper, etc. etc. What does the ACLU gain from being "observers" of the Minutemen? If members of the ACLU saw illegals coming into the country, would they not say anything? They also defended pro-child sex group NAMBLA in a civil suit. NAMBLA was not ordered to remove any "protected" images. A family simply felt that the way in which the group taught how to molest a child and get away with it likely had something to do with the murder of their child. ACLU had no business getting into this civil suit. Government was not involved at all and no one was being jailed on any rights violation charge. The ACLU also had their panties in a bunch over the Boy Scouts for some reason. They try to ban Scouts from high schools based on religious objections, but sue to allow gay student groups where religion is discussed. Sounds like hypocrites to me. If no religion is allow, then no discussion about _any_ religion at all should be allowed by any group.

The ACLU is out for themselves. They have a political agenda which extends beyond just protecting people's rights.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the work of the ACLU. If not them then who?
I would much prefer a person or group that would burn the American flag and wrap themselves in the Constitution than someone who wraps themselves in the American flag and burns the Constitution.

Anonymous said...

WOW! i sure stirred up a bunch of liberal feathers with my comments about the communist ACLU. Just remember " In GOD we trust". All others pay cash! One thing i do agree with is that woodie burton is an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Comment to the fool who would burn the American Flag. That is when America should throw out the Bill of Rights and shoot first and ask questions later. One problem here in america is we need to quit stroking the liber cry babies who get their feeling hurt and start to take our country back. Remember. Bad guy kills another bad guy. that is a good thing. 2 less thugs on the streets.

Anonymous said...

I read comments like 7:35's, and I think of Christ's lament from the cross;

"Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do."

No true student of the Constitutions, federal or state, could read the above and not feel sad.

Sad for the misplaced intentions and beliefs.

Liberties are there to protect the least of us, however foreign the concept may seem. The NAMBLA case is oft cited, incorrectly. There's not room here to correct the poster. Suffice it to say he oversimplified, grossly.

The ACLU also stood up for the Klan in Georgia in the 90s. The Klan wanted a parade permit. I detest everything the KKK stands for, but they wanted to peacefully assemble, and some nitwit county commissioner denied them their Constitutional right. Who stood up for their right? The ACLU.

Because as Franklin said, and Dr. King later paraphrased, when the rights of any of us are violated, all our rights are violated.

Too bad some of the above posters, especially the American flag one, don't get that. I truly hope they never need their civil liberties. They're there, free, for all to use...

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, and about the AG's counsel taking the fifth:

it proves the civil libertarians' point exactly. Protect yourself with your Constitutional rights. Make the government prove their case on a tougher level.

And this is not a witch hunt. You wanna talk witch hunt, talk Republican Congress vs. Bill Clinton in 1995.

This Congress was elected last fall to push the President on Iraq, and to actually ask tough questions of the President on other issues. Unlike their lapdog predecessors.

Looks to me like they're doing their jobs. America agrees. I think the country is finally on to W's nonsense. And taking the fifth is the lady's Constitutional right.

But why don't you ask America what they think of anyone who takes the 5th? They think they're hiding something.

And she is.

While her boss, who was not qualified to be AG, and his boss, who is at 30% in the polls right now, do not have the public with them.

What else ya got?

Oh yeah, getting a God plate for free still sucks and violates the Constitution.

Anonymous said...

"This Congress was elected last fall to push the President on Iraq, and to actually ask tough questions of the President on other issues. Unlike their lapdog predecessors.

Looks to me like they're doing their jobs."

So the firing of federal prosecutors has what to do with Iraq?

As you said, Americans may think she is guilty, but they could careless. You see, they don't care about some elite lawyers, who make way more than they do, getting canned. As long as when they pick-up the phone and dial 911 and cops show up, they are content. The people wanted to end this nation building in Iraq. Unless these fired prosecutors somehow were going to pull us out of Iraq had they not been fired, this has nothing to do with Iraq. This is a witch hunt. They have wanted to slap Bush or folks close to him for sometime now.

Anonymous said...

Bush needs bitch-slapped. Hard. For listening to his Veep too much.

And, if you read any polls, you'll know the people do care about the firing of federla prosecutors. Big time.

And, again, the God plate for free sucks.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone should get the plain white truck plates, and do away with the specialty plates completely. End of controversy.

It's amazing how people will listen to pundits who demonize ACLU, an organization created to protect us little guys. They will take an extreme case and distort the facts, or leave out facts when they trash this group. You agree with the minority hatred they spread, and then you are fooled into supporting the side of the rich elitists, who don't give a crap about you, your rights, your job, your religion, etc. They successfully got your vote by deception.

The part of the federal attorney firings that matters is that those who were fired were not lapdogs for King George. Their replacements were lapdogs who did not go through senate confirmations.

Dump your party loyalty, and think for yourself. Don't let a single issue cloud your judgement.

Anonymous said...

For proof of the founding fathers' intent, re-read Jefferson's manifestos, or Benj. Franklin's thoughts on same. Kinda hard to misconstrue their intent.

[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. - Benjamin Franklin

I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that "except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service. - Benjamin Franklin

The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of mankind. - Thomas Jefferson

I concur with the author in considering the moral precepts of Jesus as more pure, correct, and sublime than those of ancient philosophers. - Thomas Jefferson

Our liberty depends on our education, our laws, and habits . . . it is founded on morals and religion, whose authority reigns in the heart, and on the influence all these produce on public opinion before that opinion governs rulers. - Fisher Ames-Framer of the First Amendment

No free government now exists in the world, unless where Christianity is acknowledged, and is the religion of the country. - Pennsylvania Supreme Court

No Blood for Hubris said...

Will the "In Allah We Trust" and "In Buddha We Trust" discount license plates be available anytime soon? Or is that, like, different?

Anonymous said...

Thomas Jefferson?

Wow, isn't he the dude who owned his very own Koran?

Anonymous said...

Why do we have to be identified by county anyway? What's the point or use?