Ballarat drivers are already feeling the pinch of the new Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system which was launched this week with dozens of drivers, many unsuspecting, being nabbed in the first two days of operation.
The technology, dubbed Operation Alleycat, allows police to detect drivers who are suspended, disqualified or unlicensed. It can also detect unregistered cars as well as stolen vehicles and stolen number plates.
Ballarat officers started using the system at 8am on Wednesday.
ANPR scans number plates and matches them against a database of vehicles of interest.
Detectives joined uniform and Highway Patrol officers to detect, identify and apprehend motorists committing traffic and criminal offences.
They say it allows them to take more unauthorised and dangerous drivers and riders off the roads than ever before.
And for unsuspecting drivers who may have forgotten to pay their registration, there's also no escape, with the system also able to detect unregistered cars, which then slaps the driver with an $826 fine.
Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Argall said the technology made it easier to detect and remove people who should not be on the roads.
Unauthorised road users pose a significant threat to themselves and others.Detective Senior Sergeant Tim Argall
"A study of fatal collisions in 2016 found that unauthorised drivers were at fault in 16 percent of them.
"The same study found that around one in five injury collisions involving an unregistered vehicle also involved an unauthorised driver.
"These drivers have no right to be behind the wheel, either because of their previous unsafe behaviour or because they are unlicensed and we're determined to get them off our roads.
"There's a cross over between driving offences into drug driving and property crime."
The full roll out will be completed by March 2021.
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