Make no mistake: No one should be driving with expired plates or a lapsed registration. Those who do — whether by oversight or commission — should be penalized. We recognize the legitimate police concern that unregistered vehicles can be a mask to hide other crimes. But aside from a 30-day grace period instituted by Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier, the law — which AAA Mid-Atlantic officials say is unique to the District — makes no allowance for people whose worst offense is bad record-keeping; other equally serious traffic violations are dealt with through appropriate administrative penalties. It also strikes us that police have better things to do with their time and manpower.
Photo by Jay Goodman Tamboli