Page last updated at 11:10 GMT, Sunday, 4 January 2009

Checks to target foreign vehicles

People driving vehicles registered abroad are being targeted in a clamp down by Northamptonshire Police.

Officers can seize vehicles if they have been in the UK for longer than six months and are not registered with the DVLA, Pc David Lee said.

"After that period it must be taxed, insured and go through an MOT if it is older than three years," he said.

The operation is in response to an increasing number of foreign-registered vehicles being driven on the roads.

"We are seeing more and more foreign vehicles on our roads that are not taxed, insured and licensed and which could become a hazard to other motorists", Pc David Lee said.

"Because these vehicles are not taxed or insured it is impossible for agencies such as the police, DVLA or the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) to trace the owner of the car.

"This makes it more difficult for us to trace people if they have committed a road traffic offence as well as identifying the owners of cars if they have been involved in a road traffic collision."

Caught on safety cameras

Officers will be using a number of tactics to establish the length of time a foreign registered car has been in the country.

Once they know the vehicle has been in the UK for more than six months they will stop the driver and seize it.

Officers can also seize cars that are parked up without a driver.

The owner then has 14 days to register the vehicle with the DVLA, otherwise the vehicle faces being destroyed.

In 2008 in Northamptonshire safety camera spotted 1,361 foreign vehicles that were unable to be pursued because they were not registered with the DVLA.

These vehicles included HGVs, cars, vans and coaches.

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