Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Some drivers frown on Ky.'s Smiley plate

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - The cheerful, smiling sun on Kentucky's new license plate design may have fans, but a Mr. Smiley backlash has brought a surge in sales of specialty plates.

Many Kentuckians would rather pay extra money not to have Mr. Smiley and greet other drivers with his motto, "Kentucky: It's that friendly."

For example, the Kentucky Horse Council sold about $1,000 to $2,000 worth of specialty plates each month before Mr. Smiley made it onto Kentucky bumpers. Three months after, total sales were more than $60,000.

The Smiley plate was unveiled in December. Drivers pay $5 to $35 more for specialty plates than the $15 charge for the Smiley plate. The state gets the same amount regardless of which is sold.

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Some drivers frown on Ky.'s Smiley plate