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The Road Traffic Regulation (Northern Ireland) Order 1997

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Commencement Orders bringing legislation that affects this Order into force:

Disposal of vehicles by the DepartmentN.I.

52.—(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) to (4), the Department may, in such manner as it thinks fit, dispose of a vehicle which appears to the Department to be abandoned and which has been, or could at any time be, removed in pursuance of Article 49 or an order under Article 13 or 15[F1 or of Article 21 of the Traffic Management (Northern Ireland) Order 2005].

(2) The time at which a vehicle may be disposed of by the Department under paragraph (1) is as follows—

(a)in the case of a vehicle which in the opinion of the Department is in such condition that it ought to be destroyed and on which no current licence was displayed at the time of its removal, any time in the course of or after its removal;

(b)in the case of a vehicle which in the opinion of the Department is in such condition that it ought to be destroyed and on which a current licence was displayed at the time of its removal, any time after the licence expires;

(c)in any other case, any time after the Department has taken reasonable steps to find the owner of the vehicle and either—

(i)the Department has failed to find such a person; or

(ii)he has failed to comply with a notice served on him requiring him to remove the vehicle from the custody of the Department within 21 days from the day on which the notice was served,

but, in a case where it appears to the Department that a licence is in force in respect of the vehicle, not a time earlier than the expiration of the licence.

(3) In paragraph (2)—

(a)any reference in sub-paragraphs (a) and (b) to a current licence includes a reference to a licence which was current during any part of the period of 14 days ending with the day preceding that on which the removal of the vehicle in question took place;

(b)for the purposes of sub-paragraphs (b) and (c) a licence shall be treated as still in force for a period of 14 days beginning with the day following that on which it expired, and references to the expiration of the licence shall be construed accordingly.

(4) If, before a vehicle is disposed of under paragraph (1), the vehicle is claimed by a person who—

(a)satisfies the Department that he is the owner of the vehicle; and

(b)pays the Department[F2 the relevant charges],

the Department shall permit him to remove the vehicle from its custody.

(5) If, before the expiration of one year from the date on which a vehicle is sold in pursuance of this Article, any person satisfies the Department that at the time of the sale he was the owner of the vehicle, the Department shall pay him any sum by which the proceeds of sale exceed the[F3 relevant charges].

(6) If in the case of any vehicle it appears to the Department that more than one person is or was the owner of the vehicle at the relevant time, such one of them as the Department thinks fit shall be treated as the owner of the vehicle for the purposes of paragraphs (4) and (5).

[F4(7) In paragraphs (4) and (5) “relevant charges” means—

(a)any penalty charge payable in respect of the vehicle;

(b)any sum recoverable from the owner of the vehicle;

(c)the reasonable costs of the removal and storage of the vehicle; and

(d)in paragraph (5) the reasonable costs of the disposal of the vehicle.]

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