Right: Automatic number plate recognition technology has dramatically reduced road tax evasion in the UK
Road tax evasion in the UK has fallen by more than 40% in the last year, according to statistics from the Department for Transport show. The department claims much of the improvement is due to the use of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) to support enforcement action against users of unlicensed vehicles.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) operates a fleet of ANPR cars and static cameras capable of capturing data on all vehicle types across multiple lanes of traffic. DVLA ANPR units will read over 10 million vehicle movements this year and the Agency will issue penalties to those drivers found to be driving unlicensed vehicles.
The annual survey showed just 1% of vehicles are not licensed, compared to 1.7% in 2007. The DVLA estimates that it will have collected a 99.1% of all potential revenue from road tax in 2008.
Transport minister Jim Fitzpatrick says, “The vast majority of motorists properly license their vehicles, keep them in a good condition and make sure they are fully insured. The small minority who refuse to do so are a menace on our roads and are more likely to be involved in wider criminality.
“The DVLA has made it easier than ever to license a vehicle and is also cracking down on those who refuse to do so – so I am delighted that we have seen such a significant fall in the level of road tax evasion.
“But we are not complacent and will continue to take action against those who fail to license their vehicles. There is no way out for road tax evaders.”
18 December 2008
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