U.K. streets are about to get a bit less welcoming for anyone driving illegally as soon as a planned fleet of vans packing license plate scanners hit the roads. The vans, operated by the NCP car-parking group, will be on the hunt for vehicles belonging to owners who haven't paid their car taxes, and will follow a zero-tolerance policy, clamping and impounding cars on sight, and crushing them if the driver doesn't cough up the £80 release fee within seven days. Ouch, couldn't they just sell 'em? At least then the owner can buy back his or her car for thousands of pounds more than the release fee, but for thousands of pounds less than what a new vehicle would set them back. Deets on the specific system being used don't seem to have been made available, but it sounds similar to the so-bad-it's-good-named Mobile Plate Hunter 900
put to use last year in California to catch stolen cars.