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Government looking into reports new Ontario licence plates are unreadable at night
TORONTO -- The Ontario government has confirmed to CTV News Toronto that they are looking into reports that the province’s new licence plates are difficult to read at night.
“We have been made aware that some Ontarians are reporting concerns with readability to the naked-eye under certain light conditions,” the office of Minister of Government and Consumer Services Lisa Thompson said in an email Monday.
The confirmation follows a number of posts to social media that show photos of what appears to be the new licence plates on vehicles at night, with plate details almost impossible to read.
“Ok, this was taken off duty in a relatively well lit parking lot with my headlights on,” Kingston police Sgt. Steve Koopman said in a tweet published Saturday night.
“Did anyone consult with police before designing and manufacturing the new Ontario licence plates? They’re virtually unreadable at night,” Koopman added.
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.
“Has anyone else noticed that the newly designed @ONgov license plates are totally unreadable from distance at night?” Collins asked, adding that the apparent issue could pose a problem for Toronto-area police agencies.
CTV News Toronto reached out to several police agencies from across the GTA regarding the issue. Only Toronto police replied in time for publication saying that they would not be commenting on the matter “at this time”.
On Monday, CTV News Toronto’s Colin D’Mello took to twitter to conduct an experiment of his own with a prototype of the licence plate which he received in April of 2018 and the former white Ontario licence plate.
“Again we have a prototype, which the gov’t says has been improved upon,” D’Mello writes, before a light from his camera whites out the new licence plate.
‘We take this feedback seriously’: government
The apparent flaw has prompted many online to question the design of the plates released earlier this month.
Originally touted as an “effective product that will last longer for Ontarians,” there are growing questions over whether the new plates were ever tested in the field before the rollout.
“Wonder what genius decided to change the plate to blue?” one user on Reddit asked. “Another embarrassing blunder from Doug Ford & Co,” added another.
The criticism is not lost on Doug Ford’s government.
In the same statement, Thompson said, “The government consulted with key stakeholders, including our law enforcement partners, to test the readability, reflectivity and functionality of the new high definition plate design.”
“We take this feedback seriously, value the input of Ontario drivers and law enforcement stakeholders and are currently looking into this.”
As of Feb 1., all regular series passenger licence plates issued will be of the new plate design.