BENDIGO will get the first patrol car equipped with automatic number plate recognition technology as country Victoria’s police officers grapple with the lion’s share of road trauma fatalities.
The technology's rollout would prioritise rural and regional areas, which had attracted about 70 per cent of the state's road fatalities over recent years, road police assistant commissioner Stephen Leane said.
A total of 27 people died on rural Victorian roads up to February 12 this year, compared to 10 in Melbourne, according to the latest TAC online data.
Bendigo Highway Patrol will take possession of Victoria Police’s first ANPR car on Monday, Assistant Commissioner Leane said.
The technology was “light-years” away from current technology, he said, which forced officers to put their head down and manually enter number plate details into an in-car computer, then wait for a response.
It meant the officer in the passenger’s seat lost their capacity to scan traffic and “do what they do best,” Assistant Commissioner Leane said.
“That’s watching the road, watching the people on the side of the roads and working through who are the most important people they need to intercept and influence.”
UNAUTHORISED drivers around Bendigo 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 car is the first of 221 units to be deployed across the state over the next two years.
Bendigo officers will begin fully operational patrols with the unit next Tuesday.
ANPR units scans number plates and matches them against a database of vehicles of interest. The system allows 5000 vehicles to be scanned per shift.
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Road Policing Command Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said a study of fatal collisions in 2016 found that unauthorised drivers were at fault 16 per cent of the time.
“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.”
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