Should sex offenders be required to use special license plates? In 2007, Ohio lawmakers proposed a bill to put fluorescent-green license plates on the cars of convicted offenders in order to easily identify them. However, the bill never got passed. Should we revisit the idea?
The bill was bipartisan, with both Republican and Democrat state legislatures working to propose the law. It would work similarly to the color-code program in many states that use yellow, pink, or red license plates for convicted drunk drivers.
Ohio briefly considered requiring pink plates for sex offenders but changed the color because it was associated with breast cancer survivors.
Christine Link, executive director American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, criticized the proposed requirement as political grandstanding. She said it could leave children with the idea that anyone without the special plates was safe to approach.
But Republican Sen. Kevin Coughlin, who introduced the latest legislation with Democratic Rep. Michael DeBose, said the plates would send parents and children an instant message to beware. Ohio already requires repeat drunken drivers to display bright yellow tags.
"The fluorescent-green license plate will make the most egregious sex offenders easily identifiable," state Democratic Rep. Michael DeBose said. Police agreed, saying that the green plates would help them track sex offenders. This would allow them to be more strict on keeping them away from school grounds.
Republican Sen. Kevin Coughlin, who introduced the latest legislation with Democratic Rep. Michael DeBose, said the plates would send parents and children an instant message to beware. Ohio already requires repeat drunken drivers to display bright yellow tags.
"It will give Ohio families a great peace of mind knowing that their children will be able to recognize where this danger exists," Summit County Sheriff Drew Alexander said. "The proposed law will be debated in committee before a decision is made whether to put the proposal to a vote."
Part of me says that I completely agree, and part of me feels like it is an invasion of privacy. If they did the time for their crime, do they not start with a clean slate? However, on the other hand, if someone touched my child, I wouldn't care if they were upset or embarrassed. In fact, I would probably go to prison for murdering them.
What do you think? Should convicted sex offenders have special license plates in order to make them easier to track?