California Might Adopt Electronic License Plates
The California Legislature is evaluating a bill that would introduce electronic license plates for vehicles, as mercurynews reports.
The proposed plates would offer the image of a standard license plate when the vehicle is traveling but would become a digital advertising support or display custom messages when it is stationary for a period of over four seconds. However, the license plate number would be displayed at all times, allowing the vehicle to be identified. In addition to that, the plates could be used for displaying helpful information in emergency situations.
The plates could be used as a revenue generator for the State of California, as the advertising space would be governed by the Department of Motor Vehicles. However, the devices can also be used to display a message chosen by the user, thus allowing the owner of the vehicle to show everyone his various beliefs or preferences.
What you’ve just read is the official position on the matter, but we beg to differ, as we see a few problems with this bright license plate idea.
First of all, there’s the issue of the devices contributing to the distracted driving phenomenon. We think that the current flashing advertisements on the sides of highways are pretty good at playing with our eyes and don’t need additional forces to do this.
However, this problem seems somewhat unimportant if we compare it to the threat posed by the possibility to hack the electronic devices. This would allow anyone who wishes to evade the law to just download a little software and enjoy the benefits of true driving freedom, switching between an infinity of license plates in a way that James Bond never even dreamed of.
So, think again lawmakers...