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Ontario To Deny License Plates for Scofflaws

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Scofflaws in Ontario will soon feel considerable pressure to pay outstanding fines because the province now gives municipalities the power to deny them license plates. According to The Canadian Press, the crackdown begins in May when people who have not paid their driving-based fines (such as speeding and careless driving) won’t be able to get or renew their plates.

Why now? Because just like in the U.S., many Canadian municipalities are struggling to maintain their roads and highway infrastructure and they need to tap every possible source of revenue available.

Per the Toronto Star, Ontario municipalities are owed a collective $1.4 billion in unpaid fines for provincial offenses, including those under the Highway Traffic Act. The Association of Municipalities of Ontario has been asking the government for more than a decade for more tools to collect that money. Some of those fines date back 50 years and could not be feasibly collected, so the government is making the policy retroactive seven years.

Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca said, “With any system that government puts in place there will always be those who will find creative ways to avoid playing by the rules, I suppose, but this is another opportunity for us to be able to get those fines collected and make sure people get a clear message that they can’t continue to act in this way.”

What do you think? Would you like to see more U.S. states and cities impose a similar crackdown on scofflaws?

(Maybe if New Jersey had this law in place, the state police wouldn’t have had to chase down Lester Morales, the owner of a trucking company who owes the state $1 million in unpaid tolls.  He was arrested last week at Newark Airport just before boarding a flight to Aruba…)

Senior Petroleum Analyst, National (USA) / Southeast

Gregg is a former news reporter (Gannett Westchester Newspapers, NY) and has also worked for AAA Auto Club, communicating with reporters daily on fuel price trends since 2002. He joined the GasBuddy Organization in 2011 and is based in Tampa, FL.

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