Highway 407 drivers who refuse to pay new tolls will be denied license plate renewals

Drivers will be identified by their license plate number and sent a bill.
Drivers will be identified by their license plate number and sent a bill. (Photo: Wikipedia.org/Haljackey)

Starting February 1, drivers who take provincially owned Highway 407 east and Highway 412 will start paying tolls. Drivers are already paying tolls on the existing part of the 407.

The Ontario government made an announcement about the new tolls, stating that the money collected will be used to fund new infrastructure.

“Revenue generated from tolls will be used towards Ontario’s transportation infrastructure, which will help ensure that we can deliver critical projects exactly like these for years to come,” according to Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca.

The only glitch in the plan is that Highway 407, which connects to Highway 412, is owned and operated by the 407 ETR Concession Company Limited, which in turn is owned by Spanish company Cintra Global Holding Limited. Highway 407 hasn’t been in the hands of the government in years, meaning that not all profit made on the tolls will go to build infrastructure.

The tolls will be collected by license plate number. Those using the highways won’t have to face booths or barriers. Rather, the province is going to use the 407 ETR to issue bills, as it is already an all-electronic, open-access toll highway. Drivers will be electronically identified by their license plate number and sent one bill to cover all tolls.

To deal with those refusing to pay, the government and the company came up with a way to be able to eventually collect. Under the Highway 407 Act, the province can refuse to issue license plates to a person who won’t to pay their bills for using the highway.

This license plate denial regime seems to have worked and caught on. As of this May, the license denial will extend beyond the act and apply to people with unpaid speeding tickets or any other fines for driving-based offences in Ontario. The government plans to deny plates to drivers who have unpaid tickets dating back seven years.

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