The suggestion this week that the Government of Ontario will eliminate front licence plates for vehicles in Ontario is not supported by police leaders in Ontario. The OACP Traffic Committee has long argued against this “cost saving” move by the Provincial Government because police know that vehicles are involved in all types of investigations. We know that vehicles are often used as conveyances in the commission of crimes or are otherwise directly involved. As stated in an IACP Resolution and experienced in Canada, “motor vehicles are used in the majority of all serious crimes” and the “heightened homeland security concerns emphasize the need for fast and reliable identification of vehicles by law enforcement officers and citizens alike”.
From a law enforcement perspective, the pros outweigh the cons for the need of a front licence plate on a vehicle. As society moves further into a digital environment, the ability to identify any vehicle on the road, in particular crime vehicles, becomes that much more important from an evidentiary perspective. With the primary purpose of a licence plate being that of identification, it is essential that a vehicle be identifiable from multiple angles. The public have high expectations from their police services to identify and prosecute offenders quickly and having evidence to support the case can only be beneficial.