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ANPR STRUGGLES: Growing number of taxi drivers being pulled up and fined for 4D licence plates

A growing number of London taxi drivers are being pulled up and fined for 4D number plates as police ANPR struggles to read registration number.

In recent months, the use of 4D number plates on cars has sparked confusion among motorists and raised concerns within law enforcement agencies. While possessing 4D plates is not explicitly illegal, individuals who opt for these flashy accessories have found themselves entangled in enforcement troubles due to readability issues.

According to current regulations, it is not against the law to have raised letters on a number plate. However, problems arise when these letters are raised to such an extent that they become difficult, or even impossible, to read from certain angles. This lack of readability infringes upon the legal requirement that number plates should be easily decipherable by authorities and other road users.

The allure of 4D number plates lies in their three-dimensional effect, achieved by cutting out and attaching the lettering to the background with adhesive. Unfortunately, this adhesive-based application method poses a risk of letters detaching from the plate, resulting in an incomplete and non-compliant number plate.

Lloyd Baldwin, Executive S.O at Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA), said: “I have been called by three members this week, who have all been pulled over by the Police and issued with £100 fixed penalty notices, on the grounds that the ANPR in the Police car could not read the number plate on their cab. In all these cases, the Police officer has shown the member evidence on the screen in the Police car. One of the cabbies pulled over by Police also had TfL Compliance with them and they insisted he take another MOT as well.

“The reason the Police gave was that they could not read the plate clearly and therefore issue the Fixed Penalty. I have looked up

the rules for number plates on the government website and it seems to me that these new plates are not yet specifically covered by government rules, they do say 3D raised characters are allowed but nothing on 4D, so it’s a bit of a grey area.

“I can only assume that the Police issue the fine on the same grounds as if the plate was obscured or covered in dirt and so couldn’t be read.”


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