HARRISBURG – The Senate approved legislation today that clarifies license plate obstruction violations after a recent court ruling appeared to criminalize thousands of drivers overnight.
“Look around any parking lot and you will see many vehicles with custom frames surrounding their license plates, often issued by their car dealers or of their favorite sports team,” Martin said. “This decision would now mean that any one of those drivers could be pulled over with probable cause.”
Martin’s comments reference a recent Superior Court decision in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Derrick Ruffin, in which a panel of three judges ruled that a Philadelphia police officer’s decision to pull over a vehicle because a custom license plate frame blocked the state’s tourism website from view was justified.
Martin introduced Senate Bill 1357 earlier this month to stipulate that only important identifiable information must be visible. It was amended into House Bill 1486 this week and now includes language to ban tinted license plate covers, as well.
“I am pleased the legislature acted quickly to fix the law and restore the original intent behind identifying these violations,” Martin said.
The bill now returns to the House of Representatives for concurrence.
CONTACT: Terry Trego