House OKs lower fines for plate frame violations

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PHOENIX -- The Arizona House has passed a bill that would lower fines for drivers who violate a state law against obscuring the word "Arizona" on their license plates.

Lower fines?

New license plate law almost in effect -'s Kristine Harrington reports you will want to check your license plate holder before the new year to be sure the entire plate is visible or risk being pulled over.

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The law that went into effect in January carried an average fine of $130 and allowed law enforcement officers to stop and ticket drivers just because their decorative license plate frames covered the state name.

The bill that now goes to the Senate lowers the fine to $30 for a first offense, and prohibits police from stopping motorists solely for that violation. A second offense within a year could draw a $100 fine.

Many drivers had to remove their license plate frames because of the law, which was passed in 2006 but didn't go into effect until this year.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)