Pickerington Police Chief Michael Taylor wants to remind all residents Ohio is a two-license plate state.
In accordance with the Ohio Revised Code 4503.21, a valid license plate must be displayed on both the front and rear of a motor vehicle.
Our good Chief reminds us that this law applies even if there is only a license plate bracket on the rear of the vehicle.
House Bill 133, which was introduced last year in an attempt to change the law and eliminate the front plate requirement, remains at a standstill in the Statehouse. Even if the Bill eventually passes, the new law would not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2017.
For our officers, being able to identify a suspect vehicle in any criminal situation, from both the front and the rear of the vehicle, is vital for both their safety and solving a crime.
Two other vehicle related issues that we often receive calls about are children inside a moving vehicle who are not properly restrained, and children or pets left unattended in a parked vehicle.
ORC 4511.81 requires children younger than 4 years old and whom weigh less than 40 pounds to be in a "child restraint system" (car seat).
Children younger than 8 and under 4-feet, 9-inches tall must be in a booster seat.
Lastly, children at least 8 years old but less than 15 years old must be in either a child restraint system or an occupant restraining device (seatbelt).
All restraint systems must meet federal motor vehicle safety standards.
A final note regarding children in vehicles: please, please never leave a child unattended in a vehicle, even if only for a few minutes.
This is one of the most emotional complaints we receive from callers, along with a dog being left in a vehicle on a hot day, and they both happen far too frequently.
We urge residents to never lose sight of the fact that children and pets are completely dependent on their parents and owners to protect them and keep them safe from potential harm at all times.
The Protect & Serve column was submitted by the communication technicians at the Pickerington Police Department.