Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology has helped police detect more than 500 unauthorised drivers during a five-day road safety effort.
Operation Amity saw police enforcing on Victorian roads during the high-risk Australia Day period, with ANPR technology fitted to highway patrol and specialist police vehicles used to detect disqualified, suspended and unlicensed drivers.
Police detected an average of 100 unauthorised drivers during each day of Operation Amity, which is an increase on the 85 unauthorised drivers detected per day during the statewide road policing operation over the Christmas period.
More than a third of all infringements issued were for speeding, with majority of detections for speeding ranging between 10km/h and 25km/h over the limit.
Police also caught 225 drink drivers and 198 drug drivers during the operation, with 117,703 alcohol and drug tests conducted across the state.
A total of 6,728 traffic offences were detected during Operation Amity, including:
• 2,384 speeding offences – 1,876 of these for speeding between 10km/h and 25km/h over the limit
• 258 disqualified/suspended drivers
• 244 unlicensed drivers
• 225 drink driving offences from 114,973 preliminary breath tests
• 198 drug driving offences from 2,730 roadside drug tests
• 261 mobile phone offences
• 374 disobey signs/signals
• 168 seatbelt offences
• 186 vehicle impoundments
• 741 unregistered vehicles
There were six fatalities on Victorian roads between 25 and 28 January, with fatal collisions occurring in Tatong, Moutajup, Lilliput, Broadford, Berwick and Halls Gap, bringing the total lives lost to 30 this year, up from 21 at the same time last year.
More than 75 per cent of fatal collisions this year have occurred on rural Victorian roads.
Operation Amity ran from 12:01am on Wednesday 25 January to 23:59pm on Sunday 29 January 2023.
Quotes attributable to Acting Assistant Commissioner Road Policing, Justin Goldsmith:
“Whilst it’s great that ANPR technology is helping police to detect and remove more unauthorised drivers than ever before, it’s also frustrating that we continue to detect an increasing number of these suspended, disqualified and unlicenced drivers on our roads.
“Unauthorised drivers have no right to be on the road, yet they continue to flout the rules, putting their lives and others at risk.
“Rest assured, our enhanced capability means that we are stopping these drivers in their tracks and removing them from our roads, making it safer for all road users.
“Disappointingly, we’ve also seen another tragic period on our roads that has resulted in six lives lost within four days. It’s been a particularly bad start to the year, and we’re really concerned about the high number of fatalities this month, particularly on rural roads across the state.
“With school resuming this week, and more people returning to work after the holidays, now is not the time to be complacent behind the wheel.