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Motor Vehicles: Crime

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent steps the Government has taken to reduce the numbers of road users who drive without valid (a) driving licences and (b) MOT certificates. (236331)

It is clearly important to keep unlicensed drivers and unroadworthy cars off the road—and we do all that we can to assist the police in detecting and prosecuting offenders.

A significant step has been in providing 24-hour roadside access for the police to driver licensing information (including access to a photograph where one is available). Another followed the introduction of central computerised records of MOT test results—which means that the police can also check MOT status at the roadside. This means the police are able to identify unlicensed drivers and vehicles without a valid MOT and take appropriate action.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government has taken to prosecute vehicle owners who do not have valid car tax. (236332)

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) operates a comprehensive package of measures to make vehicle excise licensing easy to comply with but very hard to evade. DVLA's approach to combating vehicle excise duty (VED) evasion ranges from the issue of penalties directly from the vehicle record, out of court settlement letters and magistrates court prosecution of evaders, through to direct roadside enforcement action to wheel clamp and impound unlicensed vehicles. DVLA also works in close partnership with the police and local authorities on initiatives to tackle evaders. This approach is proving highly effective as demonstrated by the results of the most recent statistical survey showing an overall compliance rate of 98.5 per cent. by revenue collected.