POLICE will be using advanced technology to crackdown on dodgy drivers in Ballarat as part of a statewide blitz.
Part of the “We are the toll” campaign, Operation MONTE will feature Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology used to target unlicensed drivers, speed, drink-driving, driver distraction and fatigue.
Ballarat Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Pat Cleary said Ballarat and surrounding areas would be included in the upcoming blitz.
“Automatic number plate recognition is fantastic for identifying people that should not be on the road, which includes disqualified, unlicensed and suspended drivers,” he said.
“These are the drivers that are highly represented in the road toll.”
Senior Sergeant Cleary said the ANPR operations, which have visited Ballarat before, had proved to be highly successful and could also be used to identify stolen cars and fine dodgers.
“In the past we’ve prosecuted up to 50 offenders in one operation in the Ballarat area,” he said.
“It’s a highly successful operation to identfy those that don’t comply with road law legislation.”
Police from the Operations Response Unit will be assisted by local members, the ANPR operators and the sheriff’s office to target a broad spectrum of offenders.
Road Policing Superintendent Neville Taylor said the approach was designed to lock-down whole suburbs and towns across the state, “flooding” neighbourhoods with multiple ANPR units.
“ANPR technology is a very effective way for police to target those motorists on our roads who are doing the wrong thing and placing others at risk,” Supt Taylor said.
“One of the benefits of this technology is it’s mobility — we are able to pack up and move to different locations quite quickly, allowing us to target all major roadways in and out of suburban areas and regional centres.”
“We will be changing our location, operating up to six ANPR vans in the one area and using satellite police cars to detect those drivers who think they can slip under the radar.”
The ‘We are the toll’ campaign was launched last month following predictions that the final 2012 road toll could be 30 to 40 deaths higher than last year.
Throughout April, May and June, every Victorian police officer, from commissioners to newest constables will have a focus on road enforcement.