June 20, 2006 9:59 AM PDT

Curbing tax evasion with license plate scanners

Fleets of wheel-clamping vans armed with license plate-scanning technology will hit the United Kingdom's streets in an attempt to reduce the number of untaxed and illegal vehicles on the road.

The vans will be equipped with automatic license plate recognition cameras that will scan plates and check them against the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's database of untaxed vehicles.

The vans will be operated by car-parking group NCP, which has signed a three-year deal with the DVLA.

The DVLA is aiming to double the number of untaxed cars removed from U.K. roads, bringing the rate of removal to 2,000 vehicles per week. There are an estimated 1.5 million unlicensed vehicles in the United Kingdom, according to government figures.

Vehicles identified as untaxed by the vans will be clamped and impounded, the DLVA said. For clamped vehicles, a valid tax disc must be produced along with a release fee of 80 pounds ($147). Those cars not claimed within seven days can be crushed.

The DVLA said the "zero tolerance" approach will help cut the number of illegal and unsafe cars on U.K. roads.

"We are sending out a clear message today to the small, hard core of evaders who have no intention of paying tax(es). We will take your car; no more warnings," Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman said in a statement. "These antisocial drivers often have no insurance, drive unsafe vehicles and are involved in wider criminal activity."

Andy McCue of Silicon.com reported from London.

See more CNET content tagged:
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3 comments

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Tyranny Defined
Pay, or we will hurt you. You have a weak spot, your car, that we can use to extort money from you. In the name of community, society, democracy or law, we will simply ignore the fact that it is YOUR car and YOUR money, not theirs.

"We are sending out a clear message today to the small, hard core of evaders who have no intention of paying tax(es). We will take your car; no more warnings,"

0977745104
Posted by bitjack (9 comments )
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V for Vendetta
Soon Britain really is going to be like the movie "V for Vendetta." The US government and now even western Europe keep trying to devise new ways to take away the rights of their citizens.
Posted by jdbwar07 (150 comments )
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