Stiffer penalties for "invisible" drivers

Fine for obscured number plate offences doubled

by Mark Appleton   November 21, 2010  

Traffic Jam in Croydon Pic: Chris McKenna

Drivers who deliberately fail to display their number plates correctly will face stiffer penalties from next February.

The increasing use of number place recognition systems by police forces has meant that drivers behind the wheels of uninsured, untaxed or vehicles without valid MoT certificates can expect to be pulled over even if they are not seen committing a driving infringement.

Consequently the incentive to disguise, obscure or otherwise fail to display their number plates has increased for those with good reason not to have their vehicle identified. The fine for the offence has been doubled to £60 with the higher penalty coming into effect in February.

Under the new legislation the drivers of foreign registered vehicles who have hitherto been able to avoid prosecution will be subject to £60 on-the-spot penalties for offences such as not wearing seat belts.

Transport minister Mike Penning, claims the new penalties will ensure the law is enforced “fairly and proportionately”.

He said: “Vehicles without a registration plate or with the plate obscured help law-breakers to avoid detection, so it is important that proportionate penalties are in place to deter offenders. Updating the legislation today will make sure the penalties for all registration plate offences are consistent.”

Of course while the increasing use of automated number plate recognition systems can help catch offenders who might otherwise go unnoticed, the new legislation could be seen as a tacit admission that such systems can easily be thwarted by a strategically-positioned tow bar, muddied plate or loose piece of trim.
 

3 user comments

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Or they could save a lot of crap and have one place in the country that issues plates, like the Swedes do ...

timlennon's picture

posted by timlennon [227 posts]
21st November 2010 - 11:48

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The message from all these stories about sentencing, decisions whether to prosecute, and setting of maximum penalties is clear: You show contempt for the law and we'll come after you. But impatiently overtake a novice cyclist who hasn't taken the lane, clipping them with your wing mirrors and crushing them with your rear wheels, and we won't even take your driving license away. If they weren't wearing a helmet, we'll even let you or your insurance company off paying them or their family. You were probably on your way to, or performing, or drinking to recover from, your job so it's all part of the implicit trade-off of enabling modern commerce and personal freedom to live dozens of miles from your work versus a few thousand road deaths a year (plus waging oil wars and risking global environmental disaster.)

posted by handlebarcam [527 posts]
21st November 2010 - 20:07

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Hmm, I went thru a phase of having numberplates nicked from my old motorbike while it was parked outside my flat. The cops were powerless to deal with the problem - turned out one of the local cops was someone I'd been at school with and he did try and do something about it but to no avail. As a result I had to go around frequently with a cardboard number plate - so it's nice to know I'd probably be fined for being a victim of crime under these new rules. I never did find out who was nicking the numberplates, or why.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2165 posts]
22nd November 2010 - 9:41

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