Motorists risk a fine of up to £1,000 if their number plate cannot be easily read or is dirty. GEM Motoring Assist, a road safety and breakdown organisation is actively encouraging people to clean their plates before each and every journey they undertake.

A clear, legible number plate is vital, but it can easily become dirty with this time of year’s poor weather conditions.

“A number plate must be readable and not covered by dirt,” said GEM road safety officer Neil Worth. “This is to ensure a vehicle can be identified as and when required.

“At this time of year, it’s easy for a number plate to get so dirty that it cannot be read. This is usually caused by muck on damp road surfaces that ends up on the rear of a car.”

Worth continued: “Although there is no law against having a dirty car, the law is very clear when it comes to keeping your number plates clear; you risk a £1000 fine if you allow it to become obscured.”

To avoid the potential substantial fines and to make sure they are complying with the law, GEM is urging drivers to ‘clean their plate’ before every journey. The law does not require the entire car to be clean, however, Neil recommends:

“It makes sense to get into the habit of giving your number plate a regular wipe – every day when conditions require. Do the same for your front and rear lights, and you will be doing your bit for safety during this risky time of year.”