Car dumping clampdown is a step in the right direction

31 October 2001 #SMMT News

SMMT welcomes today’s government consultation on a range of

new measures that will cut down on illegal car dumping. The measures, which

include giving local authorities access to DVLA records and more power to prosecute

car dumpers, represent the first step in preventing thousands of vehicles being

dumped by the side of the road each year.

However, the government is urged to take immediate action

to identify the large number of unregistered cars currently on UK roads. Government

estimates suggest this could be up to two million vehicles. Until DVLA records

are complete and accurate, owners who dump these unregistered cars will continue

to slip through the net and evade prosecution.

Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive, said, ‘Car dumping

is a serious social problem and we are pleased that the government is finally

taking steps to address it. All vehicle owners have a responsibility to dispose

of their car in an environmentally responsible way and that message needs to

be heard loud and clear.’

On the issue of accurate records he cautioned, ‘Tighter enforcement

goes hand in hand with accurate records and while there are unregistered and

untaxed vehicles on the road, irresponsible owners will continue to get away

with illegal car dumping scot-free’.

Today’s joint DTLR/DEFRA consultation also includes a proposal

for continuous registration. SMMT supports the idea and would like to see it

linked to certificates of destruction. Under such a scheme owners would continue

to pay vehicle excise duty (VED) until the car had been disposed of properly,

either at dismantler or shredder, and a certificate of destruction issued.

The government estimates that more than 350,000 cars were dumped

in the UK in 2000. Consultation on proposed measures to cut down on car dumping

ends on 31 January 2002.

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