Motoring News

UK agency disses the dirt on muddy number plates

LONDON, England – Road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging drivers to ensure they have clean number plates for every road outing.

Who are they kidding? Have you ever heard anything so silly from those chilly islands in the North Sea?

Whatever, UK drivers risk £1000 fine if their cars number plate’s are so dirty they can’t be easily. read.


The organisation’s safety officer, Neil Worth (who surely must have been chuckling into his Typhoo cuppa), said having clear and legible registration plates was vital. ”They must not be covered by dirt. This is to ensure a vehicle can be identified as and when required.”

Talking about the slushy, dirty, gritty, British winter, he added: ”At this time of year it’s easy for a number plate to get so dirty as to be unreadable. This is usually caused by muck from damp road surfaces that ends up on the rear of a car.

“There is no law against having a dirty car but the law,” Gem says, ”is very clear about reg plates’readability: the driver / owner risks a £1000 (about R18 000) fine if it’s obscured.”

The Corner thinks the law is stupid for several reasons:

  • If the car is not on the road, perhaps in a parking garage, it cannot be committing a road offence. Ditto in your driveway.
  • How often on a long journey must you stop to clean your number plate – perhaps in a snowstorm or pouring rain – so Mr Plod in a Car can nail you?
  • If the dirty plate is spotted on a traffic camera then the vehicle cannot be identified, so how will a prosecution follow? Will the wheeled militia set off in pursuit, blue lights flashing?


GEM is encouraging drivers to ‘clean their plates’ before every journey to ensure they comply with the law and steer clear of a substantial fine.

“It makes sense to get into the habit of giving your number plates a regular wipe every day when conditions require. Do the same for your front and rear lights, and you will be doing your bit for safety during this risky time of year.”

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