Front license plate would help ID hit-&-run car

Posted at 5:21 PM, Apr 25, 2016

Investigators released new pictures Monday of the car they say hit and nearly killed a 3-year-old girl from Avon Park before speeding off.

Detectives are hopeful of getting a partial tag from one of the pictures after enhancing it.

"I'm pleading to the community and to the driver especially to please do the right thing and come forward," said Sheriff Susan Benton with the Highlands County Sheriff's Office.

Brianna Ramos remains in critical condition but is expected to make a full recovery.

The search for the hit-and-run driver raised an interesting question online and in the community: Why doesn't Florida require drivers to use a license plate in the front of the car as well as in the rear?

Florida is in the minority -- 31 states require two plates.

"We clearly have pictures in this case where had there been a front tag, then we would have been able to find out who the register owner was," Benton said.

This latest case is by far not the only hit-and-run in which front tags would have helped. Two tourists from Chicago were hit and killed in Clearwater last year. The car was caught on camera and the deputies finally arrested the driver weeks later.

Another case last November killed an 11-year-old boy in Tampa, and that driver remains on the run.

Benton said some cops are for requiring front tags, but others are against it. She feels there are enough cameras out there now where it's not needed.

"In my personal experience I have not seen where the need for that outweighs the fiscal impact on the community," she said.

The two biggest arguments against adding front tags: The additional cost to taxpayers, and some believe it ruins the look of the front of cars.