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New devices help Police work smarter to make roads safer

Press Release – New Zealand Police

New technology is helping Waikato Police get dangerous off the roads as officers work smarter to help make the District’s roads safer.New devices help Police work smarter to make roads safer
New technology is helping Waikato Police get dangerous off the roads as officers work smarter to help make the District’s roads safer.

Acting District Road Policing Manager, Senior Sergeant Jeff Penno said two new systems came into play when a disqualified driver was stopped twice in two hours and arrested yesterday.

“In the first incident one of our officers stopped a Nissan vehicle on SH1 at Ngaruawahia after an Automatic Number Plate Recognition device (ANPR) indicated this vehicle was of interest to Police.

“The officer pulled the car over and the 24-year-old male driver produced a drivers licence that was then scanned by a recently installed Secure Mobile Access and Reporting Technology device (SMART). These hand held devices provide a real time link to the Police database and are able to scan the bar codes of licences to readily identify drivers.”

Mr Penno said the data that came back via the SMART device identified the driver as being disqualified in relation to excess breath alcohol matters and he was arrested and charged with driving while disqualified, third or subsequent offence, failing to surrender his licence and fined for having no road user milage on his vehicle.

With his car impounded for 28 days the man was released on bail but it wasn’t long before he came to the attention of Police again.

“It was about 2.20pm on SH1 near Hamilton when the same Highway Patrol officer pulled over another vehicle and to his surprise found the same driver behind the wheel of a car he borrowed from a friend to go and pick up items he had left in his own vehicle.

“The driver was arrested again and his friend is far from impressed given that the second vehicle has now been impounded as well, just two hours after the first one was seized.”

Mr Penno said the driver’s cavalier attitude to court imposed sanctions forbidding him to drive was a classic example of a small recidivist group of drivers ready to put their own lives and those of others at risk.

“Here we have a driver who is disqualified on a serious matter continuing to drive regardless of the consequences.

“His behaviour is almost beyond comprehension and demonstrates that he is a threat to all other road users. This is a great example of how the New Zealand Police are using new technologies to identify high risk drivers allowing us to better target our resources to those who pose the greatest risk to the motoring public.”

While Police were quick to praise the new devices in being crucial in stopping that driver it wasn’t long before the technology proved its worth on the other side of the District. “This afternoon an ANPR equipped patrol stopped a 20-year-old woman driving a vehicle in Whangamata, utilising the SMART device carried in the patrol car it was established that this woman was also an unlicensed driver who was wanted on a warrant to arrest for failing to appear in court.

“Arrested, this woman was taken over to Hamilton where she will appear in the District Court tomorrow. These devices are proving their worth in helping us keep our roads safe and really showing how the Police are working ‘smarter’ to make the road safer.”


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