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Proposal for digital license plates faces a major hurdle: Gov. Schwarzenegger

June 29, 2010 | 11:33 am

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office has warned that he would veto the legislation to study bringing digital license plates -- with flashing advertising -- to California.

"The legislature needs to focus on passing a budget that lives within our means instead of distracting drivers to raise revenues," the office said in a statement.

The digital license plates moved another step forward Monday as the Assembly Transportation Committee voted 9-0 in favor of a feasibility study to determine if advertising revenue from millions of digital license placards would help close the state's $19.1-billion deficit.

Besides bringing in revenue, electronic plates could streamline car registration procedures and quickly notify motorists of hazardous road conditions and AMBER alerts, some officials suggested.

Critics warn that the ads would distract drivers and add to a growing clutter of intrusive signage. Others fear that it would give the government one more way to track the public's every move and could lead to taxes on miles driven, or instant notifications to authorities when registration expires or insurance lapses. Some also say that the computerized ads could be hacked by vandals intent on posting rogue messages.

Click here to read more about the push for digital license plates.

-- Bob Pool