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Last Updated: Monday, 15 December, 2003, 13:22 GMT
Road tax defaulters face fines
Tax disc
The initiative comes into effect on 1 January
Drivers in Northern Ireland are to face automatic fines if they fail to renew their motor tax within a reasonable period after it expires, the government has announced.

Regulations launched on Monday will also mean that car owners planning to sell, scrap or export their vehicle will have to inform the authorities of their plans.

Under the new computerised system, motorists who fail to tax their vehicles after 14 days will receive an automatic 80 fine in the post.

Beforehand, drivers would only be fined if they were caught by police, traffic wardens or roadside car tax cameras.

The initiative to cut the number of untaxed vehicles in Northern Ireland come into effect on 1 January.

The evasion rate of about 10% costs the exchequer 13m each year in lost revenue.

Police say untaxed cars are also likely to be uninsured and are more likely to be involved in crime.

Northern Ireland has twice as many untaxed vehicles than any other region in the UK.

BBC NI's Conor MacAuley reports
"There are twice as many untaxed vehicles in Northern Ireland than anywhere else in the UK"

Launch of road tax sting
16 Jan 02  |  Northern Ireland

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