If you have been caught driving whilst suspended or disqualified, chances are you weren't committing any other road traffic offence at the time you were detected by police. Our experience tells us that suspended or unlicensed drivers will try to attract as little attention as possible while on the road. So why did the police select your vehicle if you weren't doing anything visibly wrong? The answer is all in the number plate.
Police are now using automatic number plate recognition technology to rapidly detect vehicles that are registered to suspended or unlicensed drivers. The new system is operated from within an unmarked van, linked to a roadside police camera. The technology uses infrared light to read number plates, which are then scanned into a computer to check registration details of the owner across the Victoria Police database. Police are also alerted to any other related offences or outstanding warrants of the registered owner.
Several hundred metres down the road from the van, a police car is positioned to pounce on any vehicle registered to a disqualified or suspended driver.
In one of the first tests of the new automatic number plate recognition technology in regional Victoria, police nabbed 34 illegal drivers in just one afternoon. The roadside cameras alerted police to 11 unregistered vehicles and seven disqualified and suspended drivers near Shepparton. Three people with outstanding warrants and 13 other various offences were also caught.
Police have now brought this technology to the city with an overwhelming police presence spied recently on Hoddle Street. And, it is not just roadside cameras catching people out in suburban areas.
Police cars have a Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) fitted which allows the police officer to manually type in the registration details of any nearby vehicle and bring up the same registration information as the automatic number plate detection cameras.
The majority of the William Archer clients charged with a 'driving whilst suspended/disqualified' were caught out using one of these methods.
Remember, if you lend your car to someone while you are disqualified or suspended, you may wish to warn them that they may be pulled over by police that were alerted to the vehicle using the new automatic number plate detection technology.