Victoria Police's latest weapon against driving crime a success in Ballarat

THE Victoria Police’s latest weapon against driving crimes nabbed 92 offenders in 150 minutes in Sebastopol on Thursday.

The State Highway Patrol’s BlueNet vehicle combines automatic number plate recognition, in-car video and a mobile data terminal to instantly track down driving offenders.

The prototype vehicle has been in Ballarat since Christmas Day and will return to Melbourne on Monday.

While in the region, it has caught drivers with expired registrations, expired, suspended and disqualified licenses, people not using their interlock devices and speeders.

Leading Senior Constable Geoff Holland of the State Highway Patrol said they had also impounded a vehicle after they caught a repeat cancelled-licence offender.

“It has proven to be very effective,” Leading Senior Constable Holland said.

“We get these offences normally but we don’t get them so quickly.”

The vehicle is fitted with four cameras and can be used both statically or on the move.

“It is the first fully integrated car in Australia.

“It’s an exciting vehicle.”

Since the car began operating just before Christmas, it has been to the Mornington Peninsula, the Surf Coast and Baw Baw.

“There’s a bit of fear factor now. We have the technology now. It’s not a question of if we will catch you now but when.”

The vehicle worked in Ararat yesterday and caught several drink drivers, a few drug drivers, numerous suspended licenses and unregistered drivers, six speeders, a stolen car, a driver with criminal matters and a car with stolen plates.

“It’s been very, very successful,” Leading Senior Constable Holland said.