As Ontario's new licence plates start to hit the streets across the province, the Ford government has found itself locked into a debate about their readability. Many Ontarians are reporting that the numbers are hard to see in the dark. As it turns out, Toronto's new photo radar cameras are also reportedly struggling.
According to CBC, the City Of Toronto has begun experiencing "visibility challenges" in regards to the new licence plates' font size.
However, this isn't the first time that a problem with the plates has arisen. Just last week, a Kingston police officer pointed out that the numbers were "virtually unreadable" at night.
Mike Barnet, the manager of Automated Enforcement, pointed out the problem on Wednesday, February 19, 2020. Barnet suggested that the new design features a notably smaller font, which has proven to be a challenge for the photo radar cameras.
However, he refused to place blame on the Ontario government, stating it was the city's responsibility to adapt to whatever changes they make.
Ford's government defended the new plates during a press conference at Queen's Park on Tuesday evening. Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services told reporters that the plates were "tested" for readability.
Government Services Minister @LisaThompsonMPP defends the Ontario government’s new license plates - is it safe to c… https://t.co/KKoBTWmxOP— Laura Stone (@Laura Stone) 1582046725.0
"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," the government told Narcity in a statement on Tuesday.
"Ontario's new high definition licence plates were tested using advanced plate reader technology under multiple visibility conditions, and plates were successfully read under those conditions."
"We have been made aware that some Ontarians are reporting concerns with readability to the naked-eye under certain light conditions. We take this feedback seriously, value the input of Ontario drivers and law enforcement stakeholders, and are currently looking into this," it adds.
Ok, this was taken off duty in a relatively well lit parking lot with my headlights on. Did anyone consult with pol… https://t.co/TRR5rS0bvD— Sgt Steve Koopman (@Sgt Steve Koopman) 1581819823.0
Thompson pointed out that the government was aware of the criticisms surrounding the plates, before assuring that they will continue to look into the matter.
"We are confident in the plate that has been presented. They work, but as with any issue, I'm sure you can appreciate, we welcome feedback," Thompson concluded.
The City of Toronto told Narcity that, "It is still premature to make a conclusive assessment of the readability of the new blue licence plates in images captured by ASE devices as staff are still collecting data. Preliminary data suggest the smaller font size of the jurisdiction name (“Ontario”) on the new licence plates may pose visibility challenges for the ASE devices during day and night."
"An officer must be able to identify a vehicle’s rear licence plate, including the name of jurisdiction, to lay a charge. This is a requirement to be able to prosecute under the law. City staff reported their concerns to the Province, and both sides are currently in discussions to address this matter."
"The City will be exploring possible solutions with the ASE device vendor if the readability of the new licence plates is confirmed to be an issue."