New License Plates Causes Some Safety Concerns - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

New License Plates Causes Some Safety Concerns

by Diane Tuazon
NewsWest 9

WEST TEXAS - With a combination of red, white, and blue colors in the newly designed Texas plate, it looks a lot different, but not everyone is in favor of it.

"There have been some issues that law enforcement have trouble reading the plates," Glen Larum with the Texas Department of Transportation, said.

Troopers say the new plates have a combination of things that make it difficult to read.

"One of the biggest deals is having to get used to seeing new plates. Also there are 7 digits instead of 6. We're used to seeing solid white with a flag and the letters were a lot bigger before," Trooper John Barton said.

TxDOT agrees that the so called "Lone Star State" tags can take some time to get used to.

"There's color, design, there's an extra digit and new font. All of it makes it difficult to read a little. The last thing we want is to make their job harder than it is," Larum said.

DPS Trooper John Barton says the color contrast of the new plates makes it harder to read at night.

"We have a car computer now. We light the back of the car so we can see better. At night, it makes it difficult without the light," Trooper Barton said.

TxDOT says if more law enforcement officials continue to have trouble with the new license plates, changes will be made.

"Whatever we do, our goal is to keep the public safe. If it's safer to redesign the plates, we'll do that," Larum said.

However, redesigning it won't come cheap.

"I can't give you the exact numbers, but there are lots of license plates and cars in this state, so you can imagine what the expense will be like," Larum said.

Right now, those who drive trucks are still being issued the old Texas plates with 6 digits, but soon enough everyone will be getting the new plates. 

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