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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Two new high-tech BMWs join ACT Road Policing fleet

ACT Policing has acquired two brand new BMW X3M40i vehicles for road policing fitted with cutting-edge Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems.

While these new machines aren’t quite up to the spec of the Lamborghinis Italy’s (very lucky) Polizia patrol the highways in or the Audi R8s German police use to handle the Autobahn, they’re going to make life a lot easier for Canberra’s men and women in blue.

The new cars come fitted with a 360-degree Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system that utilises five custom-made high-definition cameras able to identify and process plates in front, besides, behind and on approaching traffic from the opposite direction.

“Being able to detect unregistered cars and drivers more quickly makes Canberra’s roads safer,” said Minister for Police and Emergency Services Mick Gentleman.

“Drivers will spend less time waiting at Random Breath Testing sites, which means police will be able to test more drivers.”

The new vehicles replace previous vehicles that had reached the end of their service life.

Officer in Charge of Road Policing, Detective Inspector Marcus Boorman, said the new BMWs were a great asset to the ACT Road Policing team.

“The ANPR system provides more detailed information to the police officer than the previous version to assist with vehicle identification,” he said.

“The system also captures metadata such as GPS location, time and date to provide accurate evidence.”

High definition video cameras installed in the vehicles record all traffic stops, which can be used as evidence in court if there is a dispute over the infringements issued.

The system captures high quality footage of vehicles and their registration plates, even those travelling in the opposite direction at highway speeds.

If required, officers can rewind video playback on the screen in their car to review footage.

ACT Policing has also given prominence to road safety messaging on its fleet, placing stylised road safety registration plates on a number of their road policing vehicles.

In addition to plates like SPDKILS, motorists will see police cars donning plates including RDSAFETY, BUCKLUP, ONPATROL, PATROLN, Y SPEED.

Mr Gentleman said ACT Policing have long been a leader in the application of number plate recognition technology.

“The ACT was the first Australian jurisdiction to use RAPID (Recognition and Analysis of Plates Identified) and ACT Policing continues to be an innovator,” he said.

“ACT Policing has always looked for ways to make better use of this technology, from the initial deployment of RAPID in the ACT 15 years ago, to the launch of vehicle-mounted ANPR system in 2010, and now today’s latest version.”

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