I am somewhat amused at the debacle the state of Pennsylvania has caused with the elimination of the manual license plate registration sticker system. It seems that the program has backfired, to put it mildly!

Instead of streamlining and creating a more cost-effective system, it has become an albatross that is costing the state an enormous amount of money in lost revenue. A significant proportion of drivers are simply opting out of the system and are taking their chances at not getting caught.

The only way that a culprit can be caught is with a plate reading computer. Doesn't an officer have to be pulled off the road and logged on to do that, when before all he had to do is read a plate sticker when he was following a car? Someone must think that they have nothing better to do with their time. Smaller police departments are at a disadvantage because they can't afford these programs, so they have no way of detecting offenders unless they happen to see the wrong number on a windshield as a car whips by. I guess the state will just have to buy readers for all the police department cars across the state that can't afford them.

Another issue that I haven't seen brought up is the safety hazard in all this. Besides making money for the state, the purpose of registration is to monitor the condition of all the vehicles on the road with periodical inspections. So not only is the state losing money, but the number of uninspected, mechanically unsound vehicles has to be on the rise also.

Pennsylvania's legislators are batting around new ideas that will fix this problem, but you can bet that it will cost more money and more technology somewhere, possibly passing the cost on to the drivers. Maybe Pennsylvania has just over-technologied itself. Give the sticker people back their jobs, wipe the egg off your face and go back to the old system that worked! Now let's talk about toll booths ...

Sally Brown-Pawlosky