21/06/2006

Campaign to clamp down on untaxed vehicles

A new zero-tolerance campaign has been launched in an effort to remove illegal and unsafe vehicles from NI roads.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Northern Ireland (DVLNI) in conjunction with Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has signed a new contract with NCP, which has been created in a bid to double the number of untaxed cars removed from the province's roads.

It is hoped that the rate of removal across the UK will be increased to 2,000 vehicles a week, with all unclaimed vehicles being crushed.

The Chief Executive of DVLNI, Brendan Magee, said: "This is not just about wheelclamping and removing untaxed cars. It is about fighting crime, stopping criminals and making the streets safer. The message here is for the small hard core of evaders who have no intention of paying tax - we will take your car, no more warnings."

Since car tax can only be purchased with a valid MOT and insurance certificate, DVLNI's new zero tolerance approach is aimed help to reduce the number of illegal and unsafe vehicles on our roads and by targeting untaxed vehicles, DVLNI is also helping to fight wider criminal activity as occupants of untaxed cars are more likely to be involved in activities involving drugs, anti-social behaviour, burglary and violent crime.

NCP's new fleet of vans is equipped with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology and will scan number plates, automatically checking them against a list of untaxed vehicles.

Those identified as untaxed will be clamped and impounded, and if they are not claimed within seven days of this, will be crushed.

The fee for clamped vehicles to be released will be £80 and in addition, a valid tax disc must also be produced.

If a tax disc cannot be produced, a surety of £120 for a car or motorcycle, and up to £600 for other vehicles must be paid before the vehicle can be released.

The surety payment is forfeited if a valid tax disc is not produced within two weeks.

In addition to the national scheme, DVLNI is also able to authorise Local Councils and PSNI to wheel clamp and impound untaxed vehicles in their local area.

(EF/SP)

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