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No escape over abandoned vehicles

PUBLISHED: 03:10 12 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:37 03 March 2010

NO car tax? No escape!

Motorists in the Felixstowe and Woodbridge areas are being warned there will be a new blitz this month to crack down on unlicensed and abandoned vehicles.

NO car tax? No escape!

Motorists in the Felixstowe and Woodbridge areas are being warned there will be a new blitz this month to crack down on unlicensed and abandoned vehicles.

In the past five months, more than 400 dumped cars have been removed from the roads in Suffolk Coastal in a bid to drive out the problem of the eyesores littering the district's streets and verges.

The latest stage of the campaign is to rid the district of unlicensed cars and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is to visit the area to team up with police and council officials to identify drivers not paying their road tax.

Mobile cameras have already been out on many roads, including the A14, checking if motorists have up to date tax discs.

During this month the DVLA will be clamping cars without current tax, with the threat that the cars will be crushed or disposed of if the owner does not reclaim them and repay any outstanding monies owed to the DVLA.

"This is a very welcome addition to the campaign that is well underway in Suffolk Coastal. We have already identified over 400 abandoned cars since April and this initiative should help remove more of them from our district," said Chris Slemmings, cabinet member for the environment.

"Road tax dodgers really should beware – they could be faced with a £80 fee to reclaim their car within 24 hours if it is clamped, or even more if they delay, plus they will have to produce a current licence disc.

"Any vehicles impounded by the DVLA are either scrapped or sold after two weeks, so this should also see even more eyesores being removed from our district."

Suffolk Coastal unveiled its own get-tough policy earlier this year with a new hot line number – 01394 444720 – for people to report abandoned vehicles, backed by a council promise to get any unwanted eyesores removed in a matter of days.

People caught without road tax face a fine of up to £1,000 for a private car or motorcycle, and up to £23,000 for a heavy goods vehicle, plus the threat of paying back duty penalties from the date the vehicle was last licensed.

The Stingray cameras being used by the DVLA read number plates, check them against DVLA records and stores the images of those found to be unlicensed. Stingray can work day and night and can monitor vehicles even if they are travelling faster than 100 miles per hour.

n Abandoned cars can also be reported via the council's website www.suffolkcoastal.gov.uk

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