The OACP has made it very clear to the Provincial Government that Ontario’s police leaders will continue to strongly oppose the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services proposed “Digital Vehicle Renewals – Val Tag Elimination Initiative.
The last big push from Government to eliminate Val Tags came in 2010. At that time, the OACP did not support the elimination of Val Tags. We consider the Val Tags an essential policing tool for providing quick and easily identifiable evidence of proper vehicle registration. It should be noted that at the time, no policing stakeholder group had indicated support for eliminating Val Tags.
The OACP also called the initiative a “misplaced priority” for the government at a time when police need more tools to do their job, instead of having existing tools taken away or replaced by other options that significantly impact police budgets. Since Val Tags offer visual proof of payment, police know exactly which motorists have not renewed their validations without having to pull people over or run their plates through an in-car computer, as they would be required to do under other proposed systems which eliminate the need for Val Tags.
In our view, the elimination of Val Tags does nothing to improve road safety and, in fact, could lead to people getting away with more serious offences. We are, however, open to discussions with the Province on digital options which have full funding support for every police service in Ontario.