More than 750 drivers had their vehicles checked in a co-ordinated blitz on road safety issues near Beaufort on Monday.
The multi-agency operation was led by Beaufort police, with assistance from other Pyrenees Shire police, Ballarat Highway Patrol, VicRoads and the Sheriff’s department.
The operation focused on road safety issues; in particular, licensing, registration, drug and drink driving, heavy vehicles, roadworthiness, outstanding warrants or person interests.
Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology played a crucial role in the operation.
Beaufort police Sergeant Paul Martin said more than 200 drivers were breath-tested, four penalty notices were issued for various traffic offences, five vehicles were found to be unroadworthy and had vehicle defects issued.
There were also 174 outstanding Sheriffs warrants totalling more than $53,000 processed during the operation.
“No drivers were detected driving in excess of the blood alcohol limit or under the influence of drugs, which was a pleasing result,” Sergeant Martin said.
The police operation was one of a series around Victoria designed to make full use of the ANPR technology.
Earlier his month, ANPR sites were set up in Kangaroo Flat and Heathcote.
Police identified 96 people with 771 outstanding warrants totalling $260,000.
Officers also issued 62 people a “notice of intention to suspend” in relation to 663 warrants.
Twenty-three people paid fines on the day, allowing officers to clear a further 55 warrants and recover $15,800.
The ANPR system takes a picture of a vehicle’s number plate and instantly tells police waiting down the road whether or not the vehicle is registered, if the owner is licensed or if the vehicle has been registered as stolen.
The system makes periodic visits to the Ballarat region throughout the year.