Provincial police evaluated the new Ontario licence plates before they were available to the driving public and Sgt. Kerry Schmidt says there were no issues identified.
“The plates were evaluated for a period of time in all lighting conditions,” said Schmidt. “Daytime and nighttime. With lights on and lights off.”
Debate was ignited on social media following a tweet from Kingston police Sgt. Steve Koopman that shows a vehicle with one of the new plates in a parking lot. The first two letters are clear but the final four are difficult to read.
Ok, this was taken off duty in a relatively well lit parking lot with my headlights on. Did anyone consult with police before designing and manufacturing the new Ontario licence plates? They’re virtuallly unreadable at night. pic.twitter.com/CoLxnp3iTQ— Sgt Steve Koopman (@SgtKoopman) February 16, 2020
The province has said it is aware of the complaints and is looking into it.
Schmidt says he can’t say what kind of reflections, what kind of glare or what kind of camera the Sergeant was using to take the picture.
“I have seen plenty of blue plates across the province on vehicles and I have not had difficulty reading those plates in the daytime or nighttime.”
In terms of readability, through officers, himself and through the automatic licence plate reading cameras, Schmidt says we have not identified any significant issues that would make reading or distinguishing these licence plates a problem.
He says the new plates being a blue background with white lettering is different than what we have been accustomed to for many years.
Schmidt says the letters are not raised like they were on the previous plates.
He did a comparison of licence plates while driving today, comparing the new blue ones with the other licence plates and Schmidt could read each one equally well.