Fredericton — Now that it’s finally legal to remove the front licence plates from passenger vehicles, New Brunswickers are ripping the superfluous plates off and hucking them into the closest ditch, gully, pit or swamp.
Residents have been asked to return the plates to Service New Brunswick, where they can be recycled.
“Huh! If they think I’m driving it all the way to SNB they got another thing comin’ — I go over town once a week and I’m not wasting a trip on something so pointless,” said Jeff Aldridge of Marysville, throwing his plate into a ditch by the Nashwaak River and lighting a cigarette.
“It’ll biodegrade in time,” he assured us, walking away.
During the provincial election last fall, the People’s Alliance Party platform was heavily based on the removal of front licence plates.
“I voted purple cuz I was sick of looking at that damn front plate and Austin said he’d help us get rid of them once and for all,” said Shelly Culberson of Saint John. “It’s these big-picture issues that sold me on the People’s Alliance. They just really understood what normal people want, and that’s to get rid of this little rectangle of metal. It’s my right not to have it!
“Now, if we can only get rid of the back licence plates too,” she added, chucking hers into the harbour, “we’ll all be better for it.”
Police are citing safety concerns with the move, saying it’ll be tougher for them to nab law-breakers without the help of front licence plates.
“It’s much more challenging for us to give you a speeding ticket if we can’t see your front plate, so please, leave it on,” said RCMP spokesperson Kim Peters. “Think of how difficult you’re making it for law enforcement to punish you. It’s in our…I mean, your, best interests to keep it.”
Citizens, however, don’t buy this logic.
“If you ask me, the cops are just as lazy as we are,” said Dirk Hollis, a Riverview native who was lounging on his deck yesterday.
“They don’t want to put effort into catching us doing crime, and we don’t want to waste a lunch hour to take this dang thing all the way to Service New Brunswick.” Hollis then picked up the plate he had ripped off his car on Monday, ambled over to the woods behind his house and tossed it in.
“Go back to hell where ya came from,” he muttered.