Plates Designed to Alert First Responders; Improve Safety
Providence, R.I. – Owners of electric vehicles powered in whole or part by storage battery may now obtain a specialized plate from the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles. This after Governor Lincoln D. Chafee signed a bill in July 2014 allowing the issuance of such plates for qualifying vehicles.
The plate, which became available this month, features a green wave with the words "Electric/Hybrid" on the bottom of the plate, where "Ocean State" would normally appear. While it is not mandatory for eligible vehicle owners to change their plates, it is strongly encouraged. The new plates were designed to alert first responders of the potential risk of electrocution when using the Jaws of Life or other extraction methods. This warning will allow emergency crew members to more accurately assess a situation and may reduce the risk of injury.
Rhode Island is the fourth state in the country to offer this option to drivers, joining Massachusetts, Illinois and Hawaii. Owners who wish to switch their plates may perform a plate change at any DMV branch and will receive stock plates at a cost of $21.50. Those who want to keep their current registration but change their plate may order a remark for $31.50.