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Confronting crime with dual licence plates

 Ashli Barrett/Lacombe Globe

Front and rear licence plates could be something the Town of Blackfalds will lobby the provincial government for.
(Codie McLachlan/Postmedia Network)

Front and rear licence plates could be something the Town of Blackfalds will lobby the provincial government for. (Codie McLachlan/Postmedia Network)

The reinstatement of front licence plates could be a cause the Town of Blackfalds will lobby the Alberta government for.

While discussing ways to increase safety and combat crime during a planning meeting for the Blackfalds RCMP, the idea of bringing back front licence plates was brought forward.

“One of the sidebar remarks ws if we had licence plates on both front and back, it might be something that would make it safer for vehicles,” said Blackfalds Mayor Richard Poole.

“I want to find out whether council is interested in it, so this will come back next meeting.”

Alberta ditched the front licence plate in 1991, with the government then saying it would save them $700,000. Those same economics played a factor in other provinces choosing not to require a front licence plate and today, only B.C., Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick require both front and rear licence plates.

According to a poll conducted in 2007, 60 per cent of Albertans were against the reintroduction of a front licence plate. Those in the law enforcement community, however, have largely been in support of it.

“It is something the RCMP felt would help for two reasons - first of all, there’s a big problem with stolen licence plates. If you have one on the back and a different one on the front, it’s pretty easy to determine the plates have been stolen,” said Poole. “It would assist in the theft of licence plates, and it would assist on the vehicle theft end of it.”

In a 2014 Calgary Herald article, the Calgary Police Service said a front licence plate would make identifying vehicles easier, and afford them the ability to take radar photos from the front.

While Poole said he isn’t sure whether or not there is “hard data” out there on the advantages of having two licence plates, it’s worth looking into.

“The thought was if they’re doing it, there must be some merit to it, but we don’t know that for sure,” said Poole. “Obviously, it’s more expensive if you have two licence plates than one.”

Should council decide to support creating a draft resolution to be presented to the AUMA, they will have to have research behind it to convince other municipalities it will be worthwhile.

Poole said the Village of Clive, who was also at the meeting, indicated they are interested in the idea.

The issue will go before town council at their next meeting on March 27, where they will formally consider sending it to the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association as a draft resolution. 



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