Road Laws Drivers face points for number plate offences

Added: 16 November 2020

Speed Camera on motorway

A new proposed law means that drivers who have either a missing or an obscured number plate can receive three points and a fine of £1000. In a move to hold drivers accountable for the state of their number plate. 

Motorists that are taking to the roads with missing number plates or number plates that are obscured may be fine and given points under a proposed private members bill law.

The bill has been presented to the House of Commons by conservatives MP Andrew Grittith. It would see that motorcyclists and drivers who have number plates that are covered or missing issues a £100 fine and three-points.

MP Andrew Griffith has told the Commons that there has been misery inflicted on residents of rural villages due to antisocial motorcyclists and drivers. It is reasonable easy to purchase canned, incorrectly space or cloned number plates online.

The law could, in theory, be supported and enforced using ANPR cameras. These automatic number-plate recognition cameras are able to alert operators if they are unable to read a number plate. ANPR cameras will likely become a strong tool in crime-fighting.

The MP also stated that this bill could close the ‘loophole’ in the law where speeding drivers face penalty points; however, those who commit number plate offences will only face a fine.

There have been some conversations that pointed out the difficulties in the proposed law. Head of roads policy for the AA, Jack Cousens stated that there are many areas of the bill that would be to be addressed. “Most importantly, we need more cops in cars to catch these drivers with illegal plates in the first place. Often the cars are involved in other crimes.”

He went on to state that where a stolen number plate has been used, or a replica has been purchased online - without ownership checks, innocent drivers could be fined. It becomes vital that police cars are able to catch these drivers with the illegal plates in the first instance.

He also noted that more should be done to stop the ease at which the plates can be cloned and printed.

“All too often, it is those innocent drivers who uncover the crime and then take the rap for other offences they haven’t committed - when they start receiving fines for those offences.”

One of the most simple ways for drivers to make sure that they avoid a breach is to keep their number plates clean and visible at all times. Ensure that they are in good condition and that the numbers and letters conform to the legally required sizes. Another oversight is when drivers fail to ensure their number plate is displayed when trailing a caravan or a trailer. These are simple issues that may result in a fine if not correctly dealt with.

Bridgend Motor Group are situated in Kilwinning near Kilmarnock and have a history dating back to 1930. They are a Used Car Supermarket and specialise in the sale of high quality used cars in the Ayrshire region.