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Budget Summary FY2015

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Outside Section 271
Data Current as of:  10/17/2014

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Feasibility of non-alphanumeric license plate symbols

SECTION 271.   There shall be a special task force to analyze the feasibility of a vehicle registration plate system that utilizes non-alphanumeric symbols as part of the registration identification for plates issued by the registrar of motor vehicles. The task force shall consist of: the registrar of motor vehicles, who shall serve as the chair; the colonel of state police or a designee; a representative of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association Incorporated; a designee from The Molly Bish Foundation Incorporated; the secretary of administration and finance or a designee; the secretary of transportation or a designee; the secretary of public safety and security or a designee; a representative of the State Police Association of Massachusetts; and a member of a labor organization representing police officers designated by the governor. The task force shall seek input from the United States Department of Transportation, the United States Department of Justice, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the United States Department of Homeland Security.

The task force shall study the feasibility of such a system, its cost, the time frame for implementation, impact on federal, state and local law enforcement and between states and the tools and equipment necessary to produce enhanced recognition and identification registration plates. The study shall assess: (i) human factors involved in the mental recognition of vehicle license plates, including human reaction to numbers, letters, characters and symbols and the ability to cognitively process them; provided, however, that the task force shall rely upon scientific studies that analyze and assess such human reaction and such ability as applied to not fewer than 15 non-alpha-numeric symbols as appearing on license plates traveling on public and non-public ways; provided further, that such scientific studies have been peer reviewed; and provided further, that the task force shall consult with relevant research or clinical scientists and medical professionals in the field of cognitive psychology and perception to verify the accuracy of the information it reviews; (ii) transportation-based factors including, but not limited to, the impact on toll revenues; (iii) interfaces with motor vehicle databases in other states including, without limitation, any licensing and registration system used by the registry of motor vehicles; and (iv) criminal information system accessibility.

The task force may conduct 1 or more public hearings to inform the public of its activities. The report of the task force shall be filed with the clerks of the senate and the house of representatives not later than December 31, 2014.