Drivers could have licenses 'revoked' if they 'try to avoid camera'

A new number plate crackdown could see drivers fined as police target "ghost plates" with new infrared cameras. During February and March, 10 notices were issued to drivers in the Black Country for number plate problems.

The City of Wolverhampton Council's taxi licencing team is using infrared cameras to target vehicles using so-called "ghost plates". They are also referred to as "3D" or "4D" plates, as well as "ghost plates", because of how they work.

Councillor Craig Collingswood, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: "Wolverhampton is leading the way as the first council investing in this state of the art technology to deter and detect offenders.

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“Bus lanes are essential for the public transport network to operate efficiently and speed cameras help to keep the public safe from speeding vehicles and reduce the likelihood of a crash.

“All motorists can expect to pay a fine if found to be using these illegal methods to avoid cameras and taxi drivers licensed by Wolverhampton may have their licence suspended or revoked."

This crackdown comes following infra red reflective plates being seen on vehicles, preventing them from being able to be read by infrared cameras. This means that they are not visible to speed, bus lane or low emission zone cameras – which is an offence.

The operation, which covered Wolverhampton and Birmingham city centres, Manchester Airport and Central London in partnership with Transport for London and the respective Police, found a vehicle in breach of this after it was tested with an IR camera and found to have an illegal reflective front plate.

The national operation was spurred on by joint work between West Midlands Police and the Council piloting the cameras when they found a private hire vehicle with ghost plates. The driver was issued with a £100 Penalty Charge Notice by police officers.