Unauthorised drivers in the Bendigo area will find it much harder to flout the law when the first car equipped with Victoria Police’s new automatic number plate recognition system hits the road.
The technology allows police to detect drivers who are suspended, disqualified or unlicensed, unregistered and stolen vehicles and stolen number plates.
The car is the first of 221 ANPR units that will be deployed across the state over the next two years.
Bendigo officers will begin patrols in the car next week, allowing them to take more of these unauthorised and dangerous drivers and riders off the roads than ever before.
ANPR scans numberplates and matches them against a database of vehicles of interest.
Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said the new capability would make it much easier to detect and remove people who should not be on the roads.
“Unauthorised road users pose a significant threat to themselves and others.
“A study of fatal collisions in 2016 found that unauthorised drivers were at fault in 16 percent of them.
“The same study found that around one in five injury collisions involving an unregistered vehicle also involved an unauthorised driver.
“These drivers have no right to be behind the wheel, either because of their previous unsafe behaviour or because they are unlicensed.
“We’re determined to detect them and get them off our roads and ANPR is a big step forward in that effort.
“The system will allow us to scan around 5000 numberplates per shift, which is a huge increase on what our officers are able to do manually.”
The cars are also fitted with in-car video to record audio and visual evidence that can be used in court.
It is hoped that public awareness of the video system will enhance officer safety by deterring and de-escalating potential incidents.
The ANPR system was developed by Motorola Solutions Australia following a rigorous tender process, with officers from several highway patrols involved in the design and evaluation.
The Bendigo car will begin fully operational deployment on Tuesday 19 February, with the remaining 220 cars rolled out between then and March 2021.