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Number Plate Recognition Lead to Over 700 Arrests in Two Day

October 30, 2014
Posted in Number Plate News — Written by Nationla Numbers

Police using number plate recognition technology were able to make more than 700 arrests in a 48-hour period.

Number recognising speed cameras were used to spot vehicles of interest, including those belonging to known criminals from abroad.

43 police forces from around England and Wales are taking part in Operation Trivium, which aims to crackdown on foreign criminals in the UK.

Over the two days police stopped 2,304 cars, arresting 729 individuals and handing out a further 958 fines and cautions.

Many of the criminals were wanted in their home countries for fraud, robbery, assault, drug smuggling, domestic abuse and human trafficking.

Traffic officers were told to pull over any vehicle matching one of the 3,500 number plates associated with the suspects.

Motorists driving without licence, tax or insurance were also caught under the Operation.


Car Ringer Convicted After Selling lb14k BMW

October 29, 2014
Posted in Car news,Number Plates — Written by Nationla Numbers

The man who sold a BMW that was both stolen and fitted with false number plates has been sentenced.

Talat Ali from Rochdale plead guilty to handling stolen goods and fraud by false representation.

‘When Ali was interviewed, he eventually admitted he sold the stolen car under duress from a local gang so he could pay off a drugs debt,’ said Detective Constable Chris Nield.

‘He was clearly in way over his head with some local criminals and agreed to be the fall guy for them.’

The 34-year-old will serve 5 months and 10 months respectively for each crime. He was sentenced on October 20th at Minshull Street Crown Court.

The black BMW was Ali sold was stolen from the Cheshire area on January 29th, 2014. The unsuspecting buyer bid for the vehicle a month later on eBay but lost the bid, later texting Ali to re-negotiate.

Ali met with the victim on February 20th and sold the BMW to him for lb14,000. The victim, however, called the police when he realised the vehicle’s identity had been changed.

Changing the number plates on a stolen vehicle and selling it is known as “car ringing”.


Driving Licence Fee Cuts Will Save lb150m

October 28, 2014
Posted in DVLA,DVLA News — Written by Nationla Numbers

driving licence provisional

Reductions in driving licence costs with save drivers up to lb150 million over the next ten years.

New drivers alone will see lb82.2 million in savings over the next decades, 77% of which will benefit those aged 17-24.

Transport Minister Claire Perry and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander revealed that the cuts will come into effect as of October 31st.

Nationla Numbers previously reported on the planned changes in the fees paid by members of the public applying for driving licences or renewing their current licence. DVLA has committed to the suggest alterations with this announcement.

‘The cost of driving, especially for young drivers, can be significant and we are committed to cutting costs where we can,’ said Transport Minister Claire Perry.

‘Thanks to DVLA making large scale savings to their running costs, we have been able to cut the cost of the driving licence which will save drivers and businesses lb150 million over the next ten years.’

British motorists will see fees slashed by up to 32%. This would include fees for provisional driving licences dropping to lb34 (from lb50) and renewals after ten years reduced to lb14 (from lb20).

The cost of tachograph cards, devices that record speed and distance travelled that are used by businesses to monitor staff driving, will fall lb32 (from lb38).

‘Giving savings back to the taxpayer is a key element in this government’s drive for a stronger economy and a fairer society,’ said Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander.

‘That’s why we’re slashing the cost of getting a driving licence and giving it straight back to young people and businesses, saving lb150 million over ten years.’

DVLA continue to review their services in an aiming to reduce costs and save money for the taxpayer. Vehicle registration numbers may be the next in-line to see such changes.


Congestion Beating “App” Trialled in Newcastle

October 27, 2014
Posted in Car news — Written by Nationla Numbers

A ground-breaking in-car “app” that warns drivers of nearby congestion is to be trialled in Newcastle.

On-board units will guide the drivers away from congested areas, potentially speeding up journeys.

The app will also tell users were they can park and guide them through traffic lights.

In some cases it will even allow users to remotely change the traffic lights from red to green.

Newcastle will be one of seven cities in Europe taking part in the Compass 4D project, and the only city in the UK.

The project will see a one-year trial of 334 vehicles, including emergency vehicles, taxis, buses and private vehicles.

The vehicle app will communicate directly with the Urban Traffic Management Control (UTMC) centre at Newcastle University. UTMC will in turn relay information from units installed at roadside.

‘Most cars have on board computers which have the technology to communicate with roadside technology,’ said Ray King, Specialist at the UTMC based at the Stephenson Building in Newcastle University.

‘You need a mind which decides if some happens at X, what will be the affect at Y and Z and how can we deal with it.’

Information from the UTMC will warn the on-board device of congestion, accidents and even reckless drivers approaching, allowing the driver to avoid these. The result of which should be reduced traffic, faster journeys and lower overall omissions.

When approaching traffic lights the app will tell the driver what speed to travel it in order to avoid red lights, and if the driver does meet a red light the app will tell them how long it will take to turn to green.

UTMC estimates that 1.2millions cars per day are clocked by cameras in Newcastle, including 70,000 bus movements every day.


Dangerous Driver Used False Number Plates

October 24, 2014
Posted in Number Plate News — Written by Nationla Numbers

Motorbike crash survivor had been driving with fake number plates since 2011, a court heard.

Kelvin Babbage is lucky to be alive after a horrific collision left nearly every bone in his body broken.

The biker pleased guilty to dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice at Gloucester Crown Court.

Janine Wood of the Prosecution said Babbage had two sets of false number plates for the Yamaha, which he used between July 2011 and June 2013 to disguise his identity.

The 40-year-old collided with a Vauxhall Zafira in Tewksbury last year, leaving him confined to a wheelchair, but he surprised doctors by walking again five months later.

Joe Maloney, Defending, said of Babbage: ‘He did a stupid thing … Everything about it was a lesson not to drive dangerously.

‘Despite his horrific injuries he has been able to get a job.’

Vanessa Gardner was driving the Zafira with her child as the only passenger. Luckily neither of them were injured by the crash by Ms Gardner was left with flashbacks from the accident.

Judge William Hart said the crash was caused by Babbage’s use of speed and lack of attention.

He told Babbage: ‘The collision was horrific and you suffered injuries which must have come as close to being fatal as they could have done.

‘The lady whose car you collided with was entirely blameless and it is clear the enormous trauma she must have suffered.

‘Unsurprisingly she has had flashbacks of that awful moment.’

Babbage has been suspended from driving for two years and will have to take an extended driving before being allowed back on the road, but he will be spared jail time for now.


Police Target “Unfit” Drivers with Controversial Proposal

October 23, 2014
Posted in Car news,DVLA — Written by Nationla Numbers

Police in Scotland have suggested that “unfit” drivers should have their licences taken away.

‘A lot of people killed on our roads are down to driver error or unfitness to drive. This may be down to medical issues,’ explained Chief Inspector Elaine Logue.

‘We need a new, innovative way to deal with this and we are working on this at a command level.’

The proposals would mean drivers with conditions such as diabetes and glaucoma would be asked to give up their driving licence.

Controversially many of the conditions detailed are mostly associated with the elderly.

A spokesperson for Age Concern said: ‘Caricatures of bad older drivers mean there is an ongoing debate about road safety and people in later life, but this is not reflected in road safety statistics.’

Research by the RAC found that despite making up 6% of licence-holders, drivers over 75 only account 4.3% of deaths and serious injuries, much less than that of drivers aged 16 to 20 who make up 2.5% of licence-holders.

Motorists with similar or other conditions, such as epilepsy or sleep apnoea, must already surrender their licence if doctors decide it is unsafe for them to drive.

Logue’s proposal, backed by road safety charity Brake, would include working with the NHS to identify drivers who might be deemed “unfit” for the roads.

Brake has already urged the government to bring in mandatory eye tests after a survey found 1.5 million drivers in the UK have never had their eyesight checked.

Speaking for Brake, James McLoughlin said: ‘We would urge anyone who suspects they have an impairing condition to refrain from driving and seek advice from their doctor and the DVLA.’


Ex-TOWIE Star Crashes Car with lb80k Number Plate

October 21, 2014

Amy Childs crashes car WE11 JEL

Former The Only Way is Essex favourite, Amy Childs, rolled her Range Rover, which sported a private number plate worth lb80,000.

Childs lost control of the vehicle after being overtaken by boy racers, but luckily escaped with just bumps and bruises.

The number plate, WE11 JEL, references a TOWIE catchphrase and is worth more than the white Range Rover it was on.

A spokesperson for the former Big Brother contestant said: ‘Amy is very lucky to be alive. The car is a complete write-off. She is still very shaken but feels lucky.’

The redheaded celebrity should not be in danger of losing the valuable number plate.

‘In accidents like this the DVLA will allow you to retain your private number plate,’ said Craig Priestly of Nationla Numbers.

‘You would only need to obtain a letter from the insurance company.’

The 24-year-old was driving through South Woodford in North London when she crashed the vehicle.

‘Amy was overtaken rapidly by a speeding car full of young boys, which caused her to panic and hit the kerb, which spun the car over a few times before hitting a lamp post,’ said a friend.

‘She was checked by ambulance services, police breathalysed her at the scene and she was clear.’

Ironically Amy Childs appeared in a MoneySupermarket Car Insurance ad campaign just a week earlier. The advert saw her sitting on a wrecked car that also displayed the number plate WE11 JEL.

The star said on Twitter: ‘I am so lucky to be alive thank you to everyone for your lovely messages, god was definitely watching down on me.’

No injuries have been reported from the accident and police have yet to make any arrests.


Tax Discs Selling for Thousands

October 20, 2014
Posted in DVLA — Written by Nationla Numbers

tax discs selling for thousands

Defunct paper tax discs are selling for thousands on various internet auction sites.

The value of physical tax discs has grown immensely amongst collectors since the DVLA stopping issuing new ones on October 1st.

Collectors of old tax discs, known as velologists, are paying out lb30 or lb40 for common expired tax discs on auction sites like eBay, but as much as lb1,000 for rarer, older ones.

“The best tip is to keep your disc in pristine condition and store it safely,” advised Tony Hill, author of Trade and Collect Tax Discs.

“Any tax disc in poor condition will be worth a fraction of the same date in very good condition.”

Tax discs yet to be tore out of their original perforated letter from the DVLA have shown to retain the highest value.


Mobility Scooter Users Might Be Breaking the Law

October 18, 2014
Posted in Car news — Written by Nationla Numbers

Illegal Mobility Scooter

Elderly and disabled users of large mobility scooters may be unknowingly breaking the law, a study has found.

Scooters weighing over 113kg (class 3 mobility scooters) have to be registered with the DVLA, like you would a car or motorbike.

The report, conducted by Research Institute for Consumer Affairs (RICA) and commissioned by the Department for Transport, found that suppliers, including those associated with the NHS, often failed to inform their customers of the laws.

It is said that this could be because of unclear regulations with both police and councils being unfamiliar with the legal requirements.

‘The legislation is ambiguous and compliance and policing patch,’ the study warned.

‘Not all suppliers of class 3 mobility scooters inform buyers of their responsibility to register them with DVLA.

‘This includes NHS wheelchair services.’

Class 3 mobility scooters should be used on the road, though they are usually only capable of speeds up to 8mph.

Meanwhile the study found that around one in four of smaller mobility scooter users drive on the road despite this being illegal.

The study found that one in five of scooter users have been involved in an accident of some description and may feel safer on the road for this reason.

The most common accident detailed involved mobility scooters tipping over due to steep slopes, uneven pavements and rough ground.

There is estimated to be 350,000 people in the UK who rely on mobility scooters to get around. More than half of these are under the age of 65.


DVLA Must Do More To Address “Copycat” Websites, says Transport Committee

October 17, 2014
Posted in DVLA News — Written by Nationla Numbers

Websites charging for free DVLA services must be better addressed, the Transport Committee’s latest report details.

“Copycat” websites mimic the appearance of other Government pages and mislead the public into paying for various services that may otherwise be free or less expensive by doing with the DVLA directly.

Websites like this usually use the personal details given to them by members of the public in order to request the service from DVLA themselves, earning a profit for doing very little.

In the Transport Committee’s latest report, which details areas in which the DVLA should improve in order to provide a better service to UK motorists, urges for the DVLA to address the growing number of these websites.

“The DVLA and DVSA are important for delivering essential services related to tax, licensing, testing, and vehicle safety. The Department for Transport must ensure that its current re-organisation programme for these agencies delivers high quality services that benefit everyone,” said Louise Ellman MP, Transport Commite chairperson.

The report also addresses the matter of sharing driver data to third-party companies, specifically parking companies. DVLA are urged to better explain what information gets shared and why, and also the safeguards in place to respect driver privacy.

DVLA should also make clear the though-process behind the fees being charged for such services to third-parties.

The continued introduction of new digital services were also referenced with the Committee believing that the DVLA should be doing more to help those who cannot or are unwilling to use the internet to access these services.

“The recent problems experienced by motorists when road tax renewal went online demonstrates the importance of responding to change, having clear communication with the public and an effective contingency plan to maintain confidence,” said Ellman.

The Transport Committee is made up of 11 MPs from the three largest political parties. Their official remit is to scrutinise the Department of Transport and their main bodies, including the DVLA and the DVSA.