2002 No Action
2001 No Action
2000 No Action
1998 No Action
1995 No Action
August 7, 1996
TO THE HONORABLE, THE SENATE:
In accordance with the provisions of § 43-1-4 of the General Laws, I am transmitting herewith, with my disapproval, 96-S-3380, As Amended, "An Act Relating to Registration of Vehicles."
This Act would permit city mayors to have city motor vehicle registration plates with the official city seal placed on the plate so long as the seal does not obstruct the numbering or lettering on the plate.
I find this legislation to be inappropriate given the important public safety purpose of registration plates. Current law provides that registration plates shall be maintained "free from foreign materials and in a condition to be clearly legible." R-I. Gen. Laws §31-3-18(b). In, order "to promote safety and to facilitate the identification of registration plate letters and numerals at night," the State also must also require that all registration plates have sufficient reflectivity so that plates are readable at night for a minimum distance of 100 feet with other illumination. R.I. Gen. Laws § 3l-3-28(a).
The danger inherent in the Act is that the placement, size, (and number) of seals which may be affixed to the city plates is not specified. Consequently, there is no assurance that the plates meet the necessary requirements of legibility and reflectivity. In fact, this legislation for the first time would permit a registrant to alter a registration plate without oversight by the Registry of Motor Vehicles. It is important to note that any seal currently appearing on registration plates of general officers, legislators, and other state officials are actually part of the plate as manufactured and approved by the Registry.
Finally, any mayor desiring to have a special registration plate could make a request to the Registry, which has the power to issue such plates under R.I. Gen. Laws § 31-3-15, the section sought to be amended by this Act.
For the foregoing reasons, I disapprove of this legislation and respectfully urge your support of this veto.