Imagine a world where people in UK walk around without birth certificates, driver licenses or any other form of personal identification. This would cause an utter havoc at every turn. Bills, debts, property ownership, savings, guardianships and many other aspects of individual rights we take for granted wouldn’t be there.
In a way, the concept of number plates provides a similar form of protection for motorists. The Motor Car Act 1903 paved the way for the use of number plates in the UK. The legislation made it compulsory for every vehicle owner to display a registration mark, in the form of number plates, on their vehicles. But how exactly does a number plate protect motorists?
When someone purchases a vehicle, they are required to register the vehicle with the DVLA. The DVLA will record the vehicle and ownership data, and thereafter, provide a registration mark to the vehicle owner along with documents which allow them to legally buy number plates for the vehicle. This instantly verifies and ties the ownership of the vehicle to a single person. Thus, unscrupulous characters are unable to steal and subsequently sell the vehicle using fake paperwork, since there is an actual and official proof of ownership.
In the event a vehicle is stolen, law enforcement agencies can instantly identify the stolen vehicle based on the number plates. Imagine reporting a stolen vehicle based on just a description. “Ah yes, my Ford Fiesta has a slight scratch on the side. There’s also a small coffee stain on the rear seat. That should help you accurately identify my car from the tens of thousands other red Fiestas on the road, officer.”
In return for the property ownership protection through number plates, as well as for the privilege of using the national road network, the government requires vehicle owners to pay a small fee for road tax and insurance, subject to certain qualifying criteria, such as vehicle roadworthiness. This ensures that motorists maintain the condition of their vehicles on a fairly regular basis.
The also protects innocent motorists from accidents and irresponsible behaviour of others. The presence of insurance also provides a form of financial protection for motorists.
No, this has nothing to do with Dostoyevsky. Instead, the sub heading refers to the crime perpetrated by criminals and the punishment that will eventually be meted out to them by the police and judicial system.
Number plates allow police to quickly identify and apprehend criminals. It also creates a deterrent effect for would be criminals. In many cases, police also use number plates to identify and locate witnesses to a crime.
For misdemeanour offences, such as traffic and parking violation, or accidents, number plates enable quicker reporting, claiming, and resolution of cases. To put it simply, the existence of number plates allow the wheels of justice to move so much faster.
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