71, 000 blue Ontario licence plates to be replaced by new "enhanced" ones

Feb 28 2020, 10:18 am

The Government of Ontario is finally addressing the issue of the province’s controversial rollout of their new licence plates.

The province said they are working with their manufacturing coordinator, 3M Canada, to “resolve issues” that have been raised about the new licence plates — with visibility being the main issue.

“We take these concerns seriously and together have put a plan in place to deliver an enhanced new plate,” Lisa Thompson, the Minister of Government and Consumer Services said in a statement.

Approximately 71,000 blue licence plates have been issued since February 1. For those customers the government will provide instructions on how to replace the current plates with the new enhanced licence plates.

According to the province, 3M Canada is providing material to the province and testing is being completed by law enforcement and key stakeholders.

“At 3M we are focused on applying our innovation and technology and are committed to working together with all stakeholders during design, testing, and deployment. We stand behind our products and are actively providing solutions to the Ontario Government to address the readability issue as quickly as possible,” a spokesperson from the company told Daily Hive last week.

Distribution of the new enhanced licence plate will start the week of March 16, the province said.

In the interim, the distribution of the current licence plate will stop at end of day on March 4 and starting March 5 the remaining white licence plates will be temporarily issues.

“We are pleased to have reached a resolution to this matter at no cost to Ontario taxpayers. We look forward to providing further updates in the coming days to inform Ontario driver,” Thompson said.

The province’s statement comes weeks after Crime Prevention Sergeant Steve Koopman stated in a tweet that the blue plates were “virtually unreadable at night” asking if anyone consulted with the police before designing the plates.

His tweet was liked over 4,000 times and retweeted almost 2,000 times, launching the public’s awareness of the visibility issues with the new licence plate.

The City of Toronto also had concerns over the visibility of the licence plates.

At the time a spokesperson for the City of Toronto said the photo radar program, which is part of the city’s Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) that captures images of vehicles, licence plates, as well as their speed, if they are violating the laws of the road — were having difficulties reading the new licence plates.

According to the spokesperson, city staff reported their concerns to the province and were in talks with the province to address their concerns.