Countries seeking to improve road safety by implementing automated enforcement are faced with several challenges. Some of them even have the status of precondition, since automated enforcement will be suboptimal or worse, may even fail, if certain conditions are not met. One of the most important preconditions for successful automated enforcement is an accurate and up-to-date vehicle registration.
Importance of an accurate vehicle registration
Automated enforcement could considerably relieve the police from simple manual enforcement duties such as speed and red-light enforcement. The basis for this is registering violating vehicles, more specifically, the license plates of such vehicles by means of an image. That license plate should refer to the owner of the vehicle at the time of the violation. Only then can the owner be properly notified, in a written or electronic way, of the violation and its corresponding penalty. Besides enforcement a proper vehicle administration also has other benefits. E.g. it can also be used to check if vehicles are type approved, periodically inspected, insured, suspect or stolen, if vehicle/road taxes, tolls, parking or usage charges have been paid and for access control to manage if vehicles can enter a restricted zone based on criteria such as vehicle, size, engine type or pollution classification. In line with this license plate issuance should also be strictly controlled. It also asks for strict enforcement on vehicles without license plates or without the originally issued license plates.
Several systems with a variety of vehicle registration procedures are in place. However, the objective that the ownership status for each vehicle in use should be known based on (legal) person, time and residence should be the same in each jurisdiction. These days and depending on the legal provisions a mobile phone number or e-mail address may also be registered. When selling or buying a vehicle it should be known up to the minute when the owner changes and both parties should have proof of this change. Only then can traffic violations with that vehicle be assigned properly and can road safety enforce.
E-Reg Association (Association of European Vehicle and Driver Registration Authorities) – The Vehicle Chain in Europe (2014)
AAMVA ( American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators) – Motor Vehicle Registration Document & Insurance Identification – Best Practices Guide