California May Put Digital Ads on License Plates

Critics worry it'll distract drivers
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2010 9:26 AM CDT
A California license plate is seen in this Sept. 16, 2004, file photo.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

(Newser) – California lawmakers are considering turning every license plate in the state into a kind of digital billboard, in an effort to close the state’s yawning $19 billion budget deficit. Proponents say that selling ads on the plates will earn the state money, and allow it to spread the word quickly about Amber Alerts or hazardous road conditions, the LA Times reports.

“It does offer some interesting possibilities,” said one state senator, who’s proposing a feasibility study. But critics fear the plates would distract drivers, and be hard for police to read. Some also worry that the network could be hacked. “Imagine all the license plates at once displaying porn or something,” one tech blog mused.

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