Crackdown on Illegal Number Plates

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Crackdown on Illegal Number Plates

A month-long countywide crackdown on illegal vehicle number plates will start on 1st May.

Officers from Gloucestershire Constabulary's Road Policing Unit will be on the look out for anyone driving with misrepresented or illegal number plates and drivers breaking the law will be given a fixed penalty ticket and 30 fine or, in more serious cases, taken to court where they could face a fine of up to 1,000.

Digital photographs of the offending number plates will also be sent to the DVLA, which may take action to withdraw the vehicle registration number.

PC Martin Gardner, who is coordinating the crackdown, said: "Vehicle registration plates are a vital identification tool as they are the only accurate way we, and other motorists, can identify a vehicle while it is at a distance or in transit.

"We also rely more and more now on Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology and other forms of recording equipment, which allow us to pick up on a host of offences, including driving without insurance and not in accordance with a licence as well as other forms of criminality.

"It is also against the law in itself to drive with a misrepresented registration plate and we have decided to take decisive action to clamp down on this offence during the month.

"If anyone knows they are driving without the correct style of number plate they should take steps to rectify it now, rather than face a fine or court action."

Under The Road Vehicles (Display of Registration Marks) Regulations 2001, vehicle number plates must be displayed at the front and rear of vehicles (with some exceptions, should be easy to read and meet British standards, should be in black letters and numbers on a white (front) or yellow (rear) background, and the lettering and spacing should be of the correct size.

Number plates must not be altered or misrepresented; for example, it has become fashionable to place screws in numbers to make them look like letters and two numbers are often placed close together to appear as a letter, as in T120PHY.

It has also become fashionable to use non-UK style plates, even when the vehicle is UK registered and some drivers are using so-called "magic" plates, which mean the characters disappear.

Drivers can obtain more information about the vehicle registration requirements by visiting

Posted : 30/04/2007 23:33:09

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