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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 13, 2018 09:45 AM
From: Representative Russ Diamond
To: All House members
Subject: Forgetful Driver Forgiveness Act
In the near future I will be re-introducing the Forgetful Driver Forgiveness Act (2015-16 HB 2240; 2017-18 HB264). Under this proposal, drivers who are stopped due to an expired vehicle registration, inspection sticker or driver’s license less than 30 days after the expiration date will be given 10 days to correct their error and produce evidence of such to avoid receiving a citation or fine. Such forgiveness would ONLY apply if the driver in question is NOT charged with another offense at the same place and time.

Over the last couple years, we have had several discussions regarding Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs) and PennDOT’s elimination of license plate registration stickers. Regardless of our opinions on either or both of these issues, ALPRs are being used already in the Commonwealth and PennDOT is poised to help more municipalities purchase them through a pending grant program.

You may have attended a demonstration of an ALPR in action behind the Capitol during the 2015-16 legislative session. These systems are impressive tools which can assist law enforcement and free up manpower. In fact, according to one purveyor of ALPRs, in southeastern Pennsylvania they have aided in the recovery of multiple stolen vehicles, located dozens of criminals “hiding in plain sight” and even helped round up Megan’s Law offenders using an expired vehicle registration as the initial reason for a traffic stop.

This is a great new way to help catch real criminals and solve real crimes. However, it is not hard to imagine the possibility of some jurisdictions using ALPRs as a massive revenue generator due to their ability to read thousands of license plates in a single 8-hour shift.

The Commonwealth’s predominant interest in registering vehicles, requiring inspections and licensing drivers is public safety. That interest is also served by using ALPRs and expired documentation as an initial indicator of potentially more serious offenses. But there is no public safety interest in ginning up revenues from otherwise law-abiding citizens who have merely overlooked a renewal deadline.

I humbly ask for your consideration and co-sponsorship of this proposed legislation to help provide for a more driver-friendly Pennsylvania.


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Introduced as HB380