More concerns raised about visibility of new Ontario licence plates

Marco Green
February 18, 2020

Ontario is investigating complaints that its new licence plates have a defect which makes them hard to read in low light.

A Twitter account that appears to belong to Kingston police officer Sgt. Steve Koopman posted a picture of a vehicle parked outside a McDonald's, suggesting that the new plates can be hard to read.

Licence plates in Ontario were previously stamped with the phrase "Yours to Discover".

Ontario's new licence plates hit the roads on February 1 and residents have been voicing their opinions about the design from day one.

But some police officials are concerned about the new plates and how they appear in the night.

On Friday, Twitter user and CTV News freelancer Andrew Collins snapped a similar picture of the plates at night with what he said is a high-definition dash camera.

"We have been made aware that some Ontarians are reporting concerns with readability to the naked-eye under certain light conditions ... and are now looking into this". Collins asked, adding that the apparent issue could pose a problem for Toronto-area police agencies. Only Toronto police replied in time for publication saying that they would not be commenting on the matter "at this time". "Even when you're right behind it, you can't read the licence plate".

But some critics, including Liberal leader John Fraser, are questioning whether the plates were properly tested at all by Doug Ford's provincial government.

The redesigned plates were introduced after reports that newer versions of the traditional white and blue ones were peeling. "No one has ever, ever, ever demanded a change in the licence plate, and in particular no one has ever, ever, ever suggested we change it to an empty hot air political slogan".

Angela Valdez tells CityNews she was discussing the new licence plates with her friends and chose to look for them when she was out driving one night, to see any possible problems for herself.

The criticism is not lost on Doug Ford's government.

The new high-definition plates were successfully tested using advanced plate reader technology under multiple visibility conditions, Vavassis said in an e-mail Monday.

"We take this feedback seriously, value the input of Ontario drivers and law enforcement stakeholders and are now looking into this", the statement said.

About 1.8 million new licence plates are issued by the province each year and there are 12.9 million active registered plates.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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