By Baroness Garner of Parkes - 24th April 2012
Baroness Gardner of Parkes asks the government how automatic number plate reading is being utilised.
Automatic number plate reading (ANPR) is an effective means of checking whether or not a vehicle is registered. I am told that It can be done by a police officer or authorised person with a small hand held device. pointed at the vehicle. This is then linked to the DVLA computer and results is very quickly known.
Unregistered vehicles are nearly all uninsured as you cannot insure a vehicle unless it is registered or has a Valid Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN).
In May 2011 it was estimated that uninsured and untraced drivers kill 160 people and injure 23,000 each year and they cost honest motorists £500 million extra in premiums. Under the Continuous Insurance Enforcement Law, which came into force last June it became an offence to keep an uninsured vehicle whereas the earlier offence was driving an uninsured vehicle. It is now an offence to keep an uninsured vehicle whether it is driven or not, unless it has a SORN
In the event of accidents, victims are greatly disadvantaged if the vehicle has no insurance. Similar problems can exist where the vehicle does have a somewhat dodgy foreign insurance which makes it almost impossible for a victim to get redress for injury or damage to their vehicle.
My question is to ask how ANPR is currently being used and what enforcement effect it is having. We were assured that enforcement action is being stepped up and I will be asking what are the results. Has enforcement improved? How many offenders have been detected and what action has been taken against them?
Recently the press reported that Petrol Stations which had Automatic Number Plate Recognition planned to refuse to allow a pump to operate if an unregistered vehicle attempts to buy petrol. Many petrol filling stations seem to now have now installed APNR because of the increase in the number of motorists who fail to pay for the petrol they put in their tank.
This sounds an interesting and possibly effective idea. I would like to know if it is already in operation? If so what effect it is having? What protection is needed or help available to the garage person who refuses the petrol in these circumstances?
Baroness Gardner of Parkes was raised to the peerage in 1981.