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New problem with stolen number plates

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22:18 CET+01:00
Get a transponder! That's the advice of infrastructure minister, Ulrica

Messing, to car owners who have had their number plates stolen. The transponder, an electronic box which registers when a car makes a journey into the congestion charge zone, could save the owner a few kronor if the stolen plates appeared on a car photographed going through a payment point.

There have already been a number of cases whereby car owners who have never been near central Stockholm have received payment demands for the congestion charge due to stolen number plates.

The current procedure is that car owners should pay the fine and then appeal. This is the wrong way round, according to Christer Winbäck of the Liberals.

"The car owner is obliged to prove that he or she didn't pass the payment point," he told parliament.

He doesn't think much of the minister's solution to the problem.

"It seems entirely unnecessary for someone living in Skaraborg, who never goes to Stockholm, to get a transponder which will never be used," said Winbäck.

It could be easier to prove that you didn't travel to Stockholm that day, admitted the minister.

She also explained that The Swedish Tax Agency and Swedish Road Administration had introduced a system which flags up instances where the theft of number plates has been reported to the police. But, the onus is still on the car owner to prove that the car and the plates were in separate places.

Finance minister, Pär Nuder, also discussed the congestion charge in parliament. He confirmed that the government had agreed with Stockholm's authority that proceeds from the congestion charge would go towards the city's public transport system.

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