Special number plates for repeat drunk drivers

A Germiston County legislator wants to add the letters "RDD" tag in bright yellow to the number plates of repeat offending drunk drivers.

"Showing the special tags on the number plates will act as a deterrent to other potential drunk drivers" Jeff Allison said at a hearing on his bill on Monday.

The new law would require the yellow number plates for four years for anyone caught drunk driving three times. There are 1,896 drivers in the county who fit that description, Allison said.

Other states have been adopting similar laws, Allison continued, who called the idea "a growing trend" in his testimony in support of the bill.

In Wyoming, "B" number plates - "Beware" - are issued to people convicted of drunk driving, driving uninsured or consistently breaking speed limits.

In other states with similar rules, drivers tend to give a wide berth to any vehicle bearing the number plates. Allison saw that with his own eyes on a recent trip to Wyoming, when he was "gob smacked" by how much space other drivers gave a vehicle with tagged number plates.

Milwaukee judges have the powers to require the number plates. Currently, 3,674 vehicles have such plates, said David Lee, a spokesman for Milwaukee's transport department.

Legislators in Texas unsuccessfully pushed for mauve number plates for pedophiles.

There have been problems with drunk driving number plates. Legislation failed in Florida because legislators were worried about the impact on innocent passengers in the vehicles. In Vermont, a rule requiring convicted drunk drivers to have stickers on their number plates failed because drivers simply removed them.

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