Victoria Police’s automatic number plate recognition technology is struggling to keep up with the times, with the software unable to recognise the state’s newly configured number plates.
News Limited reports Victoria Police and the Victorian Department of Justice are working with the number plate recognition software’s provider to ensure the necessary upgrades will be completed “in a timely manner”.
Starting in July, the state’s number plates changed configuration from a three letter/three number format (AAA 111) to a new one number/two letter-based one (1AA 1AA).
Confirming the problem, Assistant Commissioner for road policing Robert Hill told News the issue did not pose a risk to Victoria Police or the community.
“The fact of the matter is we are unable to read newly registered vehicles, so the vehicles are registered, that is not a concern,” Hill said.
“People that are actually driving a newly registered vehicle, I would suggest that they are not likely to be the unauthorised driver, unlicensed, disqualified or suspended.”
Linked to several databases, automatic numberplate recognition technology allows police to scan up to 2600 numberplates an hour and instantly identify illegal vehicles or vehicles attached to licence breaches, outstanding warrants, fines, or other offences.
“We need to resolve it sooner rather than later to make sure these unauthorised drivers and unregistered vehicles with these new plates are not on the roads,” Hill said.
“Our inability to read them at this point is not a significant risk.”
The first configuration change to Victorian number plates since 1953, the new format has also been accompanied by a new slogan with “Victoria – The Place To Be” replaced by the road safety message “Vic – Stay Alert Stay Alive”.