Is a notorious loophole about to close?

Shameless plug time: There are few revelations in my bosses’ new book Plunder!: How public employee unions are raiding treasuries, controlling our lives and bankrupting the nation (which you can buy here) that are more infuriating than the one about how one out of every 22 cars in California have special license plates that basically exempt their owners from traffic tickets.

“When an officer pulls over someone with one of these plates, the addresses are in a special database that alerts the officer that the driver is a government worker, or fellow police officer, or a family member of someone in law enforcement or government work,” Plunder! author — and all-around good chum — Steven Greenhut wrote. “The result is a de facto pass on many, if not most traffic laws by the drivers.”

This little loophole first became public in the pages of the Orange County Register two years ago, and has resisted a number of efforts at closing. But now this Reggie blog post tells us that state Assemblymember Jeff Miller, R-Corona, has put forth AB 2097. This bill would make it easier for cops to send citations to drivers with these special plates who break traffic laws.

“And, if the bill is passed, folks with confidential license plates won’t be able to renew their vehicle registration until they pay for outstanding citations mailed to their place of work,” Register writer Jennifer Muir wrote on the blog.

As for closing the loophole entirely? Muir added that legislators — as well as the governor — aren’t quite ready to do that. Then again, would it be California if we didn’t let a huge portion of a public employees get away with evading traffic laws?

-Anthony Pignataro

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