By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator, Wednesday February 19, 2020
Ontario’s newly-designed license plates just hit a speedbump. Call it Plate-gate.
A little background: The Canadian province’s new design was unveiled by the provincial government — led by center-right Ontario Premier Doug Ford — last year.
Almost immediately, people started comparing the plate design unfavorably to a box of Q-tips.
The plates also had a new slogan – “A Place to Grow” – which drew the ire of some critics, who preferred the previous “Yours to Discover” which the plates had sported since 1982.
Then there was the palette: Observers noticed that the new plates had the same blue color scheme as Ford’s Progressive Conservative Party.
Journalists at Toronto’s CTV network wanted to see if they could recreate the problem, so they shined a light on the new and old plates while slowly moving away. In their video, the old plate remains plainly legible, while the letters on the new one quickly disappear into a blaze of white.
In an emailed statement, Ontario’s government says it “consulted with key stakeholders to test the readability, reflectivity and functionality of the new high definition plate design. 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.”
But it acknowledged that “some Ontarians are reporting concerns with readability to the naked-eye under certain light conditions,” and says it is looking into the issue.
One silver lining? The plates are so new that very few vehicles have them. (NPR)
Meanwhile, Students, parents, the government and school boards prepare for a province-wide strike by teachers set for this Friday. (CTV)