Road Traffic Offences

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 10th February 2009.

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Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon UUP, North Down

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many vehicles have been seized from (a) disqualified and (b) uninsured drivers in Northern Ireland in each of the last two years.

Photo of Paul Goggins Paul Goggins Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

Vehicles can be seized if they are unlicensed, being driven while uninsured, or in a manner causing alarm, distress or annoyance. Driving while disqualified does not in itself permit the seizure of a vehicle.

Unlicensed vehicle seizure is a matter for the Driver and Vehicle Agency, and the Department of Environment for Northern Ireland can supply the relevant information.

New regulations permitting the seizure of vehicles being driven while uninsured came into effect on 6 January 2009. Similar regulations came into effect on the same date permitting the seizure of vehicles causing alarm, distress or annoyance (such as quad bikes, go-peds, or scramblers). Figures are not yet available for the numbers seized to date.

In terms of convictions for the substantive offences, in 2005 and 2006 (the latest years for which data are available) there were 1,314 and 1,104 convictions respectively for driving while disqualified. For the same years, 3,884 and 3,868 convictions were secured for driving without insurance.

Data are collated on the principal offence rule; so only the most serious offence with which an offender is charged is included.

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