Center for Transportation Safety (CTS) researchers were tasked with evaluating the effects one rear license plate versus two license plates on vehicles have on the ability of law enforcement, tolling agencies and border patrol to identify vehicles and monitor traffic safety activities. Researchers examined multiple states — two states that require one license plate and three states that require two license plates — through interviews with enforcement and tolling agencies as well as vehicle observation. Additionally, automatic license plate reader data were examined in both types of states. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed to provide a thorough understanding of the issues surrounding the identification of vehicles.
“The interesting thing about this project is that it has allowed us to see how a very specific factor on a vehicle affects our transportation system,” said CTS Senior Research Scientist and Project Manager Melissa Walden.. “As a cost-cutting measure, a lot of our enforcement – be it tolling, parking, homeland security, or law enforcement – has become an automated process. The license plate is a key factor in vehicle identification for that automation, and without proper identification, states are losing a large amount of revenue.”
The analysis for this project is complete and researchers are in the process of finalizing the report. The report will be available in September.