26 September 2023

Police take target out on licence-less drivers

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Victoria Police have issued a stern warning to unauthorised drivers thinking about getting behind the wheel this Australia Day long weekend – “You will be caught!”.

Assistant Commissioner Road Policing, Glenn Weir said police across the State would be using automatic number plate recognition technology (ANPR) to detect and remove drivers and motorcyclists who were unlicenced, suspended and disqualified.

“With all Victoria Police highway patrol vehicles fitted with the technology, as well as additional police vehicles in regional and specialist areas as part of an ongoing trial, there are now more ANPR-fitted police vehicles on Victorian roads than ever before,” Assistant Commissioner Weir said.

“It is estimated that ANPR can scan up to 76 million number plates each year – or 8,675 number plates an hour,” he said.

“During a recent statewide road policing operation, ANPR helped police detect 1,021 motorists who should not be on the roads, 33 per cent more than the previous year.”

Assistant Commissioner Weir said unauthorised drivers were involved in 31 fatal collisions last year, a 29 per cent increase on the previous year.

He said unauthorised drivers were considered high-risk on the roads due to the often recidivist nature of their offending – “unlicenced drivers have not undertaken the necessary training to safely operate a vehicle, whilst drivers who are suspended or disqualified have committed prior offences, predominately speeding, drink or drug driving, or a combination”.

“Police will utilise all ANPR-fitted highway patrol vehicles as part of Operation Amity, a Statewide road policing effort launching this week to coincide with the high-risk Australia Day period,” the Assistant Commissioner said.

“The five-day operation will see police highly visible and enforcing to reduce road trauma across the unofficial long weekend, with a focus on major arterials, coastal holiday hotspots, and travel on rural roads.”

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