Thursday, November 24, 2005

Ha-ha. I especially like this line out of the article below: "A spokesperson for the 407 says the courts have found there aren't any problems with the highway's customer service." They did not ask me about the rude and condescending attitude of service reps I experienced when they kept billing me (with interest) for a trip for which I had paid.

Licence plates denied for 407 debtors
Last updated Nov 24 2005 08:21 AM EST
CBC News

Starting Thursday, car owners who haven't paid bills for using the 407 toll highway will not be able to renew their licence plates.

The private company that runs Ontario's only toll highway says it is owed some $8 million in unpaid fees.

It recently won a court decision compelling the province to deny licence plate renewals to any vehicle owner who has an outstanding toll bill.

The province had fought that request, arguing that the highway's billing system — which uses photographs of licence plates to record trips — is unreliable.

Conservative MPP John O'Toole says he's had lots of complaints from drivers who are being billed for trips they never took.

"Most of them say it's amazing, I have one where the owner has not had that plate for several years."

The province's previous Conservative government originally suspended the practice of denying plate renewals over unpaid 407 bills. The Liberals took up the fight when they came to power in 2003.

Now, Transportation Minister Harinder Takhar says the court decision is forcing the government to reinstate the practice, even though it's not satisfied that the highway's operators have solved the billing problems.

"We feel [the decision is] not fair," Takhar said. "That's exactly why we're appealing it."

A spokesperson for the 407 says the courts have found there aren't any problems with the highway's customer service.

Dale Albers says many of the complaints can be traced to inaccurate information in the government's licence files.

Highway 407 runs for 108 kilometres across the top of Toronto, from the Queen Elizabeth Way in the west to Brock Road in Pickering.

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