Check out license plates the next time there is an opportunity to cruise a big parking lot, say at the neighborhood supermarket.
My informal supermarket survey suggests that about half the plates are the new, cool blue centennial plates with the rest the traditional red and yellow. Perhaps half the red and yellow plates (a quarter of the total) show some fading and half of those are significantly dimmed, faded enough so as to be difficult to read. For a few, the red of the numbers will be a faint hint against the remaining yellow of the background. For another few, the sheeting, as the industry calls it, will be dried and peeling. 3M (3M.com) makes sheeting.
The ugly balloon plates, which seem especially prone to fading, are no more. This design dates to 1999, making the plates a legacy of Gov. Gary Johnson.
At Santa Teresa, the hordes of Texas license plates are neither faded nor peeling. Likewise on a recent trip to Arizona we saw all of two faded plates, both of them specialty plates.
The only number I found for a New Mexico vehicle count was 1.7 million in 2009, from Statista, a German firm. In 2014, those vehicles were driven by the nation’s second worst drivers, the Las Cruces Sun-News reported.