Roadside cameras will be used from this week in a bid to identify and prosecute motorists who fail to pay vehicle duty, commonly known as road tax.
The use of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology will be launched across the Island at a range of locations.
Staff from the Department of Infrastructure will be visible at the roadside with cameras which capture a vehicle’s registration number and check to see if the appropriate tax has been paid.
A robust approach will be taken against owners of vehicles found to be untaxed or unregistered. The maximum fine for driving a vehicle without vehicle duty is £2,000.
The use of ANPR will also allow the Department of Infrastructure to start modernising its vehicle and driver licensing services in line with a commitment contained in the Programme for Government to transform the delivery of services through the use of technology.
This will eventually lead to tax discs being withdrawn, as they were in the UK in October 2014. Combined with other modifications to the vehicle and driver administration processes, this will result in a reduction in administration costs that will allow more money to be spent on the Island’s highway network.
Vehicles brought in from the UK must be registered as soon as they arrive in the Island to ensure they pay vehicle duty. If the vehicle is over three years old a test is required before it can be registered - a test booking must be made as soon as the vehicle arrives on Manx roads to avoid prosecution and a fine.
Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK said:
‘The vast majority of people settle what is due on time and expect strong action to be taken against anyone who attempts to avoid paying. The use of this technology is well established and will be used to ensure Manx roads are correctly funded by those who use them.
‘As well as being an offence, the message we want to get across is that failing to pay your fair share is socially unacceptable.’
Vehicle duty – what does it pay for?
- Pothole repairs
- Road design, procurement and reconstruction
- Footway design - procurement, construction and repairs
- Road resurfacing – design, procurement and delivery
- Highway drainage, installation, maintenance, repair and maintenance
- Repair and upkeep of railings, bollards, posts, signs, traffic lights and pelican crossings
- Painting of zebra crossings, white/yellow lines and road junctions
- Bridges - design, procurement, inspection, repair, maintenance and replacement
- Hedge and grass cutting, road sweeping and gully clearing
- Customer service and records management
- Road safety investigation, design and implementation
- Pedestrian safety management and improvement
- Cycleway design and cycle infrastructure implementation, maintenance, inspection and design
- Management of severe weather events, including removing fallen trees, gritting, snow clearing, flood management, etc
- TT Mountain Course – one-way implementation
- Support and legislative administration for events, including motorsports, fairs, carnivals, parades, soapbox derbies, etc
- Country footpath design, inspection, maintenance and repair; footpath bridge repair, replacement, inspection and repair; cutting back vegetation
- Day-to-day network management of those working in the road, eg, telecoms, gas, electric
- Management of roads and footpaths on new housing developments, including financial administration, technical management and quality control prior to adoption
- Management of highway and vehicle legislation
- Administration of vehicle and driver licencing, including negotiations with administration bodies in other countries
- Issuing international permits and authorisations
- Strategic planning and policy development