Drivers be warned - Warrnambool district police have a new toy that is snapping up offending motorists quicker than tickets can be written.
South-west police road safety manager Acting Senior Sergeant Greg Cressall said Warrnambool Highway Patrol Unit officers took delivery of new 360-degree camera technology last week.
He said the new automatic number plate recognition gear was fully mobile and proving highly effective.
Acting Senior Sergeant Cressall said the new technology was an advance on the previous stationary cameras.
"We've got one based here and another in Portland now," he said.
"It films parked vehicles and those moving in either direction. It can check thousands of registration plates and check the licence status of registered drivers."
The traffic chief said an infringement notice for driving an unregistered vehicle was now $806 and in the first couple of days of operation the equipment was highly effective.
"It's amazing how many drivers are being caught and we only took delivery of the equipment last week," he said.
"We were driving down Liebig Street doing training and it was pinging. It was going off that often we didn't know where to look," he said.
Statistics after the first week of operation are expected to be available later in the week or early next week.
Acting Senior Sergeant Cressall said new speed camera cars were also in the process of being rolled out.
"There were issues with where those cars could be parked and used, issues with metal and other parked cars but these new camera cars are completely different and will be able to be parked just about anywhere," he said.
"That will make an enormous difference in areas where we have previously had issues setting up camera cars.
"Drivers be aware, you have been warned. Enforcement technology is expanding and it would be a lot easier to just obey the law and drive to the conditions at all times."
Acting Senior Sergeant Cressall said statistic parameters were also changing for the reporting of heavy vehicle accidents.
Previously accidents had only been recorded when drivers or passengers were injured.
But, as of July 1, all heavy vehicle accidents will be recorded to provide police and other agencies with a far more complete picture.
He said that from January this year there had been 13 heavy vehicle accidents reported in the Warrnambool police service area, covering the Warrnambool, Moyne and Corangamite council areas.
There were three in each of Mortlake, Koroit and Warrnambool and one in both Lismore, Cobden, Camperdown and Macarthur.
"There were six of these which were heavy vehicles off-road incidents, but we understand this is only a snapshot of what has been going on," he said.
The traffic cop said there were also similar if not more heavy vehicle accidents happening in the Glenelg/Southern Grampians area, where there were a large number of log trucks.
"Anecdotally we're hearing there are a shortage of drivers and many of these rollovers are happening because of inexperience, drivers not obeying speed advisory signs and simple driver error," Acting Senior Sergeant Cressall.
"We've had fatal collisions involving heavy vehicles at Allansford, Portland and Winslow and the need for more data has prompted changes to the way these accidents are now being reported and recorded."
Acting Senior Sergeant Cressall said extra data would allow police to look into what was causing the incidents .
"The changes are aimed at providing a more accurate picture of exactly what is happening on the roads," he said.
"Then we can then develop ways to respond."
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