“I’m afraid that I don’t know whether CTC was consulted on when the change to the registration procedure took place in 2001. I suspect we were, but I’m afraid I have no records from that era to check and staff who were around then do not recall us submitting a response. Your suggestion is sensible but I’m not sure it would be one of our key demands. It is quite easy to read the licence plate of a vehicle when it it is driven away from you, after all!
The front and rear licence plates are used for Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras, such as those carried in police cars and are occasionally seen at the roadside (nb, not the same as speed cameras). Side licence plates wouldn’t be able to be picked up by ANPR cameras.
We do want to make it easier for drivers who kill or injure cyclists to be brought to justice but we believe that often the problems stem more from the evidential requirements post-identification than from problems of identification. We also believe there are gaps in UK traffic law which do not act enough of a deterrent. We also believe that the police are not taking cyclists’ concerns seriously enough – we will shortly be launching a reporting tool which will enable cyclists to enter information about their crashes and which will enable us to assist cyclists with pursuing the relevant authorities and to record information about how badly cyclists are being treated by the judicial system. I’m afraid that I do not think that, important as the idea is, side licence plates are high enough on our list of priorities to campaign for at present”.
Well how come I couldn’t see the black vehicle number plate in the dark from the side and worse that the culprit couldn’t be brought to justice.