Pa. bill would give forgetful drivers a break

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced legislation to give drivers a break if they forget to renew their license or vehicle registration.

Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon) said his proposal would grant drivers a 10-day grace period to complete their renewals and avoid fines, as long as they weren’t cited for other offenses and their registration was no more than 30 days overdue.

House Bill 2240, known as the “Forgetful Driver Forgiveness Act,” would apply the same break for late inspections.

Diamond said his bill would curb potential abuses of automated license plate readers, the technology police will use to scan license plates when PennDOT no longer issues registration stickers.

“Automated license plate readers are impressive law enforcement tools, but they should not be used as a revenue generator for departments or municipalities,” Diamond said in a statement. “Still, as their usage increases, so does the risk that mass scanning of license plates could be used to make a quick buck rather than bring criminals to justice. If adopted, my proposal would help prevent this from happening and ensure that the technology is employed in a more legitimate manner.”

Under Act 89 of 2013, PennDOT will stop issuing registration stickers on Dec. 31. The change is expected to save the department millions of dollars in product and mailing costs.

“Officers would still be able to stop vehicles for expired registrations. Expired tags have often led to the apprehension of fugitives. However, there is no public safety interest in ginning up revenues from otherwise law-abiding citizens who have merely overlooked a renewal deadline,” Diamond said.

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