Posted on Wednesday, June 27th, 2018 at 10:14 pm    

California is the first state to roll out new digital license plates, and Sacramento will be the first city to give them a try. According to a story published by the Sacramento Bee, Sacramento agreed to test the plates on 24 of its vehicles.

The new plates have several advantages, other than allowing drivers to display personal messages if allowed by the DMV. Because the digital plates have a battery and computer chip, drivers would be able to avoid yearly stickers on their tags by registering the tags electronically. In addition, if the vehicle is stolen, the tag’s technology allows the vehicle (or actually the tag) to be located. However, the new digital tags have raised some concerns.

The first issue is the price being charged for the digital tags. Drivers who want digital license tags can expect to pay $699 for the tags. However, that is not the only cost drivers must pay. A driver must also pay a dealership to install the tag and then pay the $7 per month fee for the digital tag.  The DMV is not selling the tags.

Some sources are raising privacy questions. Because of the ability to track the tags, some sources are wondering if a government entity, company, or private entity may use the digital tags to track a driver. For companies who want to keep tabs on their fleet vehicles, this technology might be an added benefit to purchasing and using digital license plates. Another potential benefit for companies might be the ability to use the digital plate to as advertisements. However, this ability will on be available if the vehicle is not in motion.

Only time will tell if the digital license plates become popular with California drivers. However, since Sacramento is the first city to order plates to be used on fleet vehicles, at least citizens around the city can see how the plates operate first hand.

Could These License Plates Be a Distraction to Other Drivers?

One concern that was not raised in the above article was the potential for distracted driving accidents. Distracted driving is a serious problem in Sacramento and throughout California. According to the OTS, just over one-half of California drivers admitted on a survey that they have been in a collision or nearly missed a collision with another vehicle because a driver was using a cell phone. Almost 40 percent of the respondents to the survey admitted to making mistakes behind the wheel when talking on a cell phone.

Will digital license plates with advertising or personal messages cause another distraction for drivers? Even if the messages are only displayed when the vehicle is not in motion, will other drivers become distracted trying to read the messages and fail to avoid a collision?  Unfortunately, the answer to these questions will not be known for some time.

Sacramento Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys

Being injured by a distracted driver is frustrating, but it can also cause extreme pain and financial loss. Our Sacramento distracted driving accident attorneys can help you recover compensation for your injuries and losses.

Contact The Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 for a free consultation with a car accident attorney in Sacramento.

Source: “California debuts ‘digital’ license plates. Here’s what they’ll cost you.” Tony Bizjak. Sacramento Bee. 30 May 2018.

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