Voting closed on new Alberta licence plate

Alberta licence plates will soon be getting a revamp. The province held an online vote for Albertans to choose between three different designs over the summer.

The voting process officially ended on Tuesday, with Albertans selecting “version 2”, which features a photograph of mountains in the background, and green grass in the foreground, by a narrow margin.

Included in the voting process was an email address for Albertans to include their feedback on the new designs. One of the criticisms of the designs is that the “Wildrose Country” slogan has been removed. Officials say that if there is enough demand, the slogan could be reinstated.

“We will be looking at that feedback in the next two weeks, analyzing it, seeing if there are trends in what people are saying.” Kathleen Range of Service Alberta told CTV on Wednesday, “If they want us to make some tweaks to the winner, we’ll certainly look at that.”

There was also some criticism from the public about where the new plates were designed, American company 3M came up with all three designs, with the province siting low costs. Range says that the manufacturing contract for the plates will be open to all companies, not just those in Alberta. The province estimates that the entire project will cost about $15 million.

“We’ll be increasing the registration rates at the time we roll out the new plates by $5,” Range said, “Not only will it pay for the increased cost of the plates, but also for the cost to upgrade our registration system.”

All vehicles will be required to switch to the new plates. Range says there are currently more than 165,000 unregistered vehicles on the road today, and the introduction of the new plates will help to identify drivers who are abusing the system.

“We have over 165,000 people out there driving vehicles that aren’t paying their fair share. When we switch over to the new plates, law enforcement officers will be able to see those vehicles that are unregistered.”

The new plates will be reflective, which will allow law enforcement officers to better read them in the dark.

The new plates are expected to be available at Alberta registries by the spring of 2015. Officials estimate that all vehicles on Alberta roads will have the new plates within two years of their introduction.

Range also added that the new P.C. leader could overturn the chosen design once he has been elected. 

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