Letter Re: New Jacksonville, FL Bill Would Make It Illegal to Back Into Your Own Driveway

Greetings from sunny Florida. I had a good laugh reading the article regarding Jacksonville’s proposed city ordinance requiring vehicles to park front end in so that the rear end and vehicle tag is visible from the street.

Yes, Florida only requires a tag on the rear end of the vehicle. There is no front end tag requirement, although you see lots of vanity tags on the front end. Go Gators! I digress. Jacksonville’s argument is that this ordinance is required to allow vehicle code enforcement to do their job and properly identify a vehicle without trespassing on private property. It is a false argument. The real reason is so that the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) can scan everyone’s tags with their Automatic License Plate Scanners (ALPS). The JSO has a very well-funded, equipped, and aggressive ALPS program. Here’s a fun fact: Jacksonville, FL is the largest area municipality in the U.S. There are lots of vehicles to scan, and when you see the JSO cruisers with their exterior ALPS cameras, the cameras are oriented for side scanning. They regularly cruise through the mall parking lots scanning every vehicle. It’s obscene how much vehicle tracking is done here. Now they want to scan neighborhoods, so everyone’s car better not be backed in. Where I see this eventually going in FL is law enforcement lobbying the state legislature for a bill requiring front end tags. The vehicles they can’t yet scan are the vehicles coming at them in the opposite lane and the vehicle behind them. Law enforcement won’t be satisfied until every possible ALPS scanning scenario can be accomplished. Who knew 1984 was actually in our future, not our past. – B.W.

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