Geelong traffic police are taking crime fighting to new level, thanks to a set of new hi-tech wheels. The BlueNet prototype vehicle features the first fully integrated automatic number plate recognition system, in-car video and mobile data terminal in Australia.
The police vehicle boasts mounted cameras on the front, rear and roof to scan all cars it passes. Victorian Police and Emergency Services Minister Kim Wells said BlueNet could scan the number plates of moving and parked cars to notify police of any unlicensed drivers, unregistered or stolen vehicles and those with outstanding fines.
"BlueNet vehicles are another tool police will use during the Christmas and New Year period to detect and remove those who, for a range of reasons, shouldn't be our roads," Mr Wells said. "The technology in these vehicles dramatically improves police efficiency and drastically increases the number of licence and vehicle checks officers can conduct on the front line. It only takes BlueNet half a second to scan a car as it travels past, and in one shift up to 5000 vehicles can be checked by the BlueNet system.'"
State Highway Patrol police have been using a $75,000 prototype BlueNet vehicle out of the Moorabbin Police Complex since last December. During that time, the vehicle detected 17,794 road offences.
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Robert Hill said the new wheels would make our roads and community safer. "Unauthorised drivers and recidivist offenders pose a high risk to road users," Mr Hill said. "The BlueNet program will substantially improve our detection rates, creating a safer road system for all road users."
The four cars released as part of the rollout will be based in Geelong, Brimbank, Shepparton and Frankston. The $180,000 pilot program is part of the Victoria's Road Safety Strategy 2013-22. It will be subject to a full review and evaluation before any further rollout is considered.