Woman nearly arrested thanks to duplicate licence plate

2009-11-09 00:00

A PIETERMARITZBURG woman was nearly arrested recently for a crime she did not commit after a licence plate identical to hers was found at an accident scene.

Annette McMaster says she came home from a holiday overseas last month to find that the police wanted to question her about an accident. A car had driven into someone’s home in Copesville and a licence plate they assumed belonged to her was found at the scene.

“The Alexandra Road police had visited my residence with a gentleman from Copesville. He had my vehicle registration number plate with him. He claimed that I had driven into his house, causing a lot of damage and, after leaving the old metal plate lying there, had driven away.”

She said when that incident happened, she was still overseas.

McMaster said the police were only satisfied about her innocence when they checked her car and found that it was intact.

She said she has tried to find out why her licence plates were duplicated, but that has been stifled by the lack of co-operation from the Traffic Department.

“I phoned the dealer that had sold me the vehicle, to ascertain how they acquire motor licences. They directed me to the Washington Road Traffic Department. From here, I was directed to the Motor Licensing Department and there I was informed that a duplicate registration number indeed existed.”

“I am quite upset about the fact that a man’s house had been damaged, not by me, but by somebody with a duplicate vehicle number plate and that a very laiszez-faire attitude was displayed by the Licensing Bureau”

Transport Department spokeswoman Lungile Ndlovu said it is possible that a syndicate that duplicates licences was responsible because the Enatis system cannot duplicate. She said the department will investigate the matter.

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