Eyes on the road: Number plate cameras for all highway patrol cars
Yeh Age. 13 February 2019
The entire fleet of Victoria Police’s 221 highway patrol cars will be fitted with state-of-the-art number plate recognition technology in the next three years.
The fleet of highway cars will be capable of scanning more than a million vehicles per shift by 2021.
Unregistered and stolen cars, unlicensed drivers and those with outstanding warrants will be targeted by the new cameras.
The cameras will be installed in 38 highway patrol vehicles by the middle of the year, with the full rollout to be completed by June 2021.
The first vehicle will be dispatched in Bendigo on Monday.
Police say they are targeting country Victoria first, because a disproportionate number of people die on rural roads compared to the city and suburbs.
“This is a significant change in how we police our roads and how we will improve road safety, reduce risks on our roads and also overall improve community safety,” Police Minister Lisa Neville said.
“We’re making sure Victoria Police has all the resources they need to nab dangerous drivers and get them off the roads.”
The technology will send alerts to police officers, who can immediately access the information via an iPad app, Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Stephen Leane said.
He said it would mean both police officers in a highway patrol car could have their eyes on the road, instead of one having to use a laptop to check number plates.
“It’s about more time with our eyes up and our eyes on the road,” he said.
The patrol cars will also be fitted with a new in-car video system that will record traffic stops and roadside intercepts.
Those recordings can be used as evidence in court hearings, Mr Leane said.
If proven successful, other police cars could be fitted with the technology.
“I think they’ll prove both in community safety and road trauma reduction they’ll pay for themselves in no time,” Mr Leane said.
Thirty-eight people have died on Victoria’s roads so far this year, compared to 23 at the same time last year.