MP Christophe Emmanuel holds up the new 2023 plates and the 2022 plates to show the stark difference in the size of the numbers.
PHILIPSBURG--Independent Member of Parliament (MP) Christophe Emmanuel on Wednesday asked Finance Minister Ardwell Irion whether the new 2023 licence plates will be recalled and questioned whether the plates were in conformity with the law as the numbers were extremely small.
Holding up a life-size photocopy of a 2023 plate side-by-side with a 2022 plate, Emmanuel showed that the numbers on the 2023 plates are significantly smaller than on the 2022 plates. He also measured the numbers on new plates to prove his point.
Emmanuel said the new plates were beautifully designed and asked Irion whether he stood by the image of the plates and if yes, whether he intended to recall them. The MP said he has never ever seen number plates in St. Maarten with the numbers so small. The MP said he enquired about the regulation governing the plates and indicated that some police friends called him and informed him that the numbers were too small.
He quoted a regulation of October, 2011, which establishes the characteristics of the licence plates number series for the various categories, which states that the dimension of the letters and numbers on the licence plates should be a height of 5-7.5 centimetres (cm) and have a thickness of approximately four millimetres. He asked whether the regulation has since changed and went on to measure the life-sized copy of the numbers on the 2023 licence plate, which he said showed that the size was 4.7cm, while the 2022 plates measured correctly at 7.5cm. He said the size of the numbering is incorrect on the new plates, which, he said, Irion has indicated will be the plates that motorists will have “for life”.
“It doesn’t take anybody with 20/20 vision to look at this and say something is wrong with the numbers, they are just too small. We all know it, but we don’t want to say anything because we feel that we are going to sort of disturb the designer. No, the designer did an awesome job, that’s the talent we have here in St. Maarten … But this is wrong, it doesn’t matter how you twist it and some of the numbers are even bigger and smaller, but they got it right with the old plates.”