Sussex MP campaigns for new law to target anti-social drivers using illegal numberplates

A Sussex MP who is campaigning for tougher punishments for anti-social drivers is presenting a Bill in the House of Commons today.

The Bill - being presented by South Downs and Arundel MP Andrew Griffith with backing from other West Sussex MPs - aims to tackle the use of illegal numberplates often associated with anti-social drivers on Sussex’s roads.

The Vehicle Registration Offences (Penalty Points) Bill seeks to amend the punishment for keeping and using a vehicle with either an obstructed number plate, or no numberplate at all.

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Under current legislation, the punishment for these offences is usually a £100 fixed penalty notice. The new aims to add three penalty points to offenders’ driving licences in addition to these fines.

Arundel and South Downs MP Andrew Griffith with Kit Malthouse, minister of state for crime and policing

Mr Griffith said: “The vast majority use the roads responsibly and West Sussex welcomes careful riders and drivers alike to enjoy the wonderful places to visit in our county.

“But I arrived at the subject of this Bill as a result of the misery inflicted upon my constituents every summer but which reached a new intensity during lockdown. Misery that means on a dry day the residents of the small towns and villages of Arundel and South Downs awake to the sound of motorcycles and there is no respite until sunset.”

He added “It is hoped that with tougher penalties, fewer motorcyclists will consider non-compliant number plates as a solution to avoiding consequences for their actions and we will therefore see a reduction of anti-social riding which tends to lead to significant noise.”

The MP for Arundel & South Downs’ Bill comes as the Home Office Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s working group on Number Plates and ANPR made the recommendation for more robust civil and criminal penalties to act as additional deterrents to encourage compliance around number plates.

Mr Griffith hopes that the new Bill will progress through the Commons and will have its second reading on November 27.