(CNS): There are now hundreds of cars on Cayman’s roads with no licence plates due to unexplained delays in the Department of Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing roll out of its new electronic plate system. The switch aimed to allow the RCIPS check the details of cars more quickly and ensure that licence plates are not being used for any criminal purpose. But having so many cars on the roads without plates appears to be creating a security headache for the police.
Owners of newly registered vehicles have been receiving laminated sheets of paper with temporary registration numbers, which are being displayed on dashboards or rear windows, but they are not easily seen by other road users, CCTV or police, making it difficult to track rogue drivers.
And criminals are exploiting the now common sight on the road of plateless cars. The getaway vehicle used in the armed robbery of a cash van outside Foster’s supermarket last Saturday had no licence plates, but under the current state of affairs that is no longer something that would trigger a report to the police or even cause an officer to pull the car over.
“The lack of actual licence plates on vehicles is a policing concern. It can make such vehicles harder to trace and detect or identify via CCTV. We are meeting and working collaboratively with the DVDL to address these issues,” the RCIPS told CNS this week when asked about an issue that has been raised by many of our readers.
CNS contacted the DVDL, who have not yet commented on the issue to explain the delay or when the new plates will begin to be distributed. The department director said that a press release was being prepared about the situation, but there was still no sign of the release or any comment from the DVDL by Thursday evening, as government closed up for the Easter break.
The DVDL stated at the end of last year, after it began issuing the temporary laminated paper registration plates, that the new ones would be on island by the start of 2017, that staff were already being trained and the DVDL would begin embossing the new electronically coded plates with registration numbers by February.