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New police cameras target unregistered vehicles in NSW

New cameras fitted to NSW Highway Patrol cars can scan and identify up to six licence plates a second.

If you drive an unregistered car, you will be caught thanks to revolutionary new cameras fitted to police cars in NSW.

All 405 Highway Patrol cars on the state's roads now carry hi-tech cameras that can scan up to six licence plates a second, looking for potentially deadly unregistered cars.

The Mobile Automatic Number Plate Recognition (MANPR) units are helping to nab more than 150 vehicles every day.

And in an effort to rid the roads of the dodgy cars, MANPR is also fitted to 54 general duty cars attached to local police stations.

In the 12 months to 30 June alone there were 16 fatal crashes and more than 400 injury crashes involving an unregistered motor vehicle, figures from the NSW Centre for Road Safety show.

Last financial year more than 55,000 drivers of unregistered vehicles were caught.

"We know unregistered vehicles pose a safety risk for everyone on the road," the centre's acting executive director Bernard Carlon said.

"They haven't undergone roadworthiness inspections and aren't likely to be adequately covered by insurance."

This is about identifying at-risk drivers and taking action

Roads and Maritime Services is also collaborating with police to get unregistered vehicles off our roads.

RMS crosschecks data from speed cameras across NSW to see whether or not vehicles detected for speed and red light offences are registered and insured. If they are not, the speed/red-light offender is also fined more than $1200 for having an unregistered/uninsured vehicle.

The MANPR units, which also work at night, are linked to a computer running optical recognition software and a huge database of unregistered, stolen or suspect vehicles. If the cameras detect a match, an alarm sounds and the officer pulls over the suspect vehicle.

Highway Patrol commander John Hartley said the focus of the cameras is on detecting and stopping vehicles that are unregistered and uninsured and vehicles involved in criminal activity.

"In terms of road safety, this is about identifying at-risk drivers and taking action before they become involved in either a serious injury or fatal crash," Mr Hartley said.