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Politics

Online Voting Begins Monday on New License Tag Design

November 22, 2012 - 6:00pm

Florida is driving toward a new license plate design expected to make it easier for law enforcement and toll collectors to read, and starting Monday residents can offer their preferences.

Four potential new license plate models will be offered on the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles webpage Vote4FloridaTag.com as part of a three-week poll.

The site goes live Monday and will continue to take votes on the tags that will also increase the number of characters from six to seven.

The redesign, which would seek to make certain characters more distinguishable from one another, such as the Q and O or B and 8, is intended for public safety and to increase by $4.8 million the total collection from drivers running toll booths.

The state estimates that 10 percent of motorists run SunPass and other toll booths without corresponding transponders.

"The improved fonts and the simplistic graphic will also improve readability for the human eye, thereby improving the accuracy of information provided to and used by law enforcement, according to the agencys study on the redesign. "These changes improve toll enforcement and red light enforcement, but also serve as an important safety initiative for law enforcement and all drivers on Floridas roads."

The state agency, which is currently accepting bids from companies interested in producing and distributing the plates starting in 2014, continues to review plans to replace the 15 million plates already on the road.

The initial plan was harshly questioned by county tax collectors in October for potentially increasing costs for motorists and reducing customer service by changing the business model to a private vendor that could be out of state.

Reach Jim Turner at jturner@sunshinestatenews.com or at (772) 215-9889.

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