A plan that would make license plates easier to remember deserves serious consideration by the Legislature.
The brainchild of an organization called EZ-ID, the proposal would require that tags, typically a mix of five letters and numbers, include a symbol like a star, heart or diamond. A bill to accomplish that has been filed by state Sen. Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, and was the subject of a hearing before the legislative Transportation Committee on Wednesday.
Gary Richard, identified by the State House News Service as an inventor and semiconductor industry distributor from Danvers, testified in favor of the bill on behalf of EZ-ID, which is trying to persuade all states to adopt the practice.
According to the organization's website, "Children learn symbols before they learn to read or write. ... Cognitive studies show that children as young as 21/2 years old can remember a symbol a week later, whereas random numbers and letters are a challenge even for adults to remember."
It sounds like a reasonable concept useful, as proponents point out, to both children and adults trying to recall the license plate of a car they've seen acting suspiciously or fleeing the scene of an accident or crime.
The bill has received some favorable initial reaction on Beacon Hill. House supporters include Rep. John Keenan, D-Salem. State Sen. Tom McGee, D-Lynn, who chairs the Transportation Committee, declared himself interested following this week's hearing.
Before endorsing the bill outright, however, McGee understandably wants to get input from public safety officials and the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Absent objections from those agencies, however, we can't see why this plan should not be phased in over the next several years as drivers get new plates for their vehicles.