n an attempt to close its cavernous $19 billion budget gap, California lawmakers are considering the use of electronic license plates that can display advertisements. The device would look like a standard plate when the vehicle is in motion, but showcase digital ads or other messages (as well as the license number) when the vehicle stops for more than a few seconds. "We're just trying to find creative ways of generating additional revenues," said Democratic state Sen. Curren Price. "It's an exciting marriage of technology with need, and an opportunity to keep California in the forefront." Is advertising on license plates brilliant — or just distracting? (Watch a discussion about ads on license plates)
DUM-DUM: This is a "terrible idea," says Dave Freeman in Crunch Gear. We're already bombarded by an endless stream of "distractions while driving." And adding "light up advertising" to everyone's license plates will make the problem exponentially worse. Please, let this "incredibly annoying" proposal "die in the California legislature."
"California license plates may go digital, turn into billboards"
CASH4CA: Nobody likes to be "assaulted" by advertising at every turn, says Evan Selleck in Slash Gear. But the adoption of this plan "would mean more money for California." Plus, the digital plates can show "updated traffic information" and "even emergency instructions," if necessary. If you ask me, this is "the next step into the future."
"California considering ad-based electronic license plates"
B-WARE: Distraction isn't the only danger with electronic license plates, says Joseph Calamia in Discovery. "Given that researchers have recently found ways to hack a car itself, hacking a digital license plate seems relatively easy." So when the DMV decides to "weigh in" on the idea, it might consider what it'd "be like to drive off into the California sunset with IAMDUM on your bumper."
"AD4HERE: Digital license plate ads may come to California"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is American internet so slow?
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- 10 things you need to know today: March 9, 2014
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Sorry Belle Knox, porn still oppresses women
Subscribe to the Week