Hundreds fined for illegal number plates

ALMOST 1,000 people have been fined by police for driving in Northamptonshire with illegal or ineffectual number plates in the past six years.

Between April 2005 and March 2011, a total of 989 people were given fines. The highest number of people caught came in 2005-06 when 250 people were handed fixed penalty notices.

Fines have been issued to people driving with registration plates not conforming to regulations, driving without a licence plate or driving with plates that are obscured or indistinguishable.

Inspector Nigel Rickaby, specialist operations inspector, said advances in automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras have allowed police to crack down on people with dodgy plates.

He said: “Advances in technology such as ANPR cameras allow the police to identify people in vehicles who may be or have committed crimes so individuals who try to defeat this approach should expect to be targeted and prosecuted.”

It is illegal to rearrange licence plate numbers to make them look like names or words or to alter the plate in any manner that makes the vehicle registration number difficult to read or identify.

If a registration number is not displayed correctly offenders could face a maximum fine of £1,000.