Remote Engine Immobilisers on the agenda

Minister for Police and Minister for Corrective Services Mark Ryan says Queensland is leading the way when it comes to exploring innovative approaches to dealing with crime.

Queensland has succeeded in having the issue of Remote Engine Immobilisers put on the agenda of the nation’s Ministerial Council of Police and Emergency Management Ministers.

With the rapid development of in-car technologies Police Minister Ryan says it’s time to start a conversation about how to improve road safety.

“Remote Engine Immobilisers could be used to slow and take control of a stolen car and thereby greatly reduce the possibility of high-speed chases involving police.

“In-car technology is expanding at an extraordinary rate.

“Self-parking cars are already a reality.

“Autonomous vehicles already exist.

“And according to the experts a key factor for cars of the near future will the extent to which they are “connected”, with on-board technology that can receive and transmit information and instructions.

“Remote Engine Immobiliser technology is already available in cars, you can see it demonstrated on the internet.

“The technology has been available for fitment to private vehicles since 2009 in the United States and Canada,” the Minister said.

RACQ Technical and Safety director Steve Spalding said as these technologies develop and become more commonplace in vehicles there’s an opportunity to reduce those high risk situations when a vehicle is stolen.

“Future vehicle technologies, particularly as we move towards connected and autonomous cars, will have greater capabilities to be remotely tracked and safely controlled.

“The technology exists, we need to see manufacturers adopt it more widely and show consumers how it can make their vehicles safer and more secure,” Mr Spalding said.

Minister Ryan paid tribute to the Queensland Police Union, in particular its General President Ian Leavers, who is at the forefront of this issue, has been and continues to be a strong advocate, and is a leader nationally across Australia for this issue and has raised it with successive federal governments over the last five years.

Mr Leavers thanked Minister Ryan and the Palaszczuk Government for giving this matter the national attention it deserves and putting it front and centre on the national policy stage.

“Today is the culmination of over five years work. There’s still a long road ahead however we in Australia really need to embrace technology to assist in fighting crime, stopping terrorism and keeping the community safe”, said Mr Leavers

“This remote engine immobiliser technology is available right now and if we mandated it in all new cars sold, as we have previously done with ABS brakes and airbags, then it a few years’ time, most cars on the road would possess this technology, so I call on all governments across Australia to support our proposals.” said Mr Leavers.

Minister Ryan said getting the issue on the Ministerial Council agenda was a good start but many challenges lie ahead.

For example, it’s argued that the only practical way for police use of remote engine immobilisers or related technologies to be effective is through legislation requiring all new vehicles built in or imported into Australia to have the necessary equipment fitted on manufacture.

This would be a significant political issue involving several branches of government as well as all car manufacturers operating in the Australian market.

But Minister Ryan said there is no point in waiting, the time to start exploring these issues is now.

“I call on my fellow Police and Emergency Management ministers around the nation to back me on this issue and let’s start looking at the future.

“With Remote Engine Immobilisers it will be a much safer future for police and members of the public.”

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