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Road Safety Act 2006

Section 44: Enforcement authorities; Section 45: Registration plates; and Section 46: Extension to Scotland and Northern Ireland

176.These sections concern the regulation of number plate suppliers. The controls affecting such businesses, which are in Part 2 of the Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 ("the 2001 Act"), already apply in England and Wales and are now being extended to Scotland and Northern Ireland. In essence the controls consist of suppliers having to register with DVLA (upon payment of a fee) and requirements as to sale of number plates, record keeping and submission to inspection. Suppliers can be prosecuted if they fail to meet these requirements.

177.Section 44 amends the 2001 Act to enhance the role of the Secretary of State in the enforcement process by allowing him to authorise persons to inspect the premises of number plate suppliers and to prosecute offenders (save in Scotland where that remains the province of the Procurator Fiscal). It also allows those trading standards officers who work for those county councils in England where there remains a two-tier structure of local government to be able to take enforcement action.

178.Section 45 amends the 2001 Act to make it an offence to supply a plate bearing a vehicle registration mark that does not comply with regulations concerning the manner in which registration numbers must be displayed. There is a power to make regulations prescribing circumstances in which the offence would not apply.

179.Section 46 extends the controls on number plate suppliers to Scotland and Northern Ireland and amends the 2001 Act in consequence.

180.The intention of the Government is that sections 44 and 45 will be brought into force before section 46 and hence, upon the commencement of the latter, Part 2 of the 2001 Act as amended by the provisions in sections 44 and 45 will extend to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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