A total of 469 unregistered and/or uninsured vehicles were detected on Canberra’s roads during the first three months of operation by ACT Policing’s specialist RAPID (Recognition and Analysis of Plates IDentified) team.
Since officially beginning operations on July 1, the high-visibility three-car RAPID team also detected 147 unlicensed drivers, 69 suspended drivers and 22 disqualified drivers.
In addition, nine warrants were executed during the period, three stolen cars recovered, and with the assistance of ACT RTA vehicle inspectors, over 2000 vehicles inspected. More than 500 cars were found to have minor and major defects.
The establishment of the specialist RAPID team, consisting of three Falcon XR6 vehicles with eye-catching signage and “viper” paintwork, received a specific funding allocation in the ACT Government’s May 2010 Budget.
Acting Deputy Chief Police Officer Mark Colbran said the team, led by experienced Traffic Operations Sergeant Andrew Warry, was delivering on expectations but said that the success of the program reflected on the attitudes by some ACT motorists toward complying with the law.
Of concern to police is that despite the high visibility enforcement activities, too many motorists are continuing to drive whilst unlicensed or disqualified, or simply ignore the requirement to register their car. This attitude appears span all income groups, as two of the more recent cars detected by the system were brand new: a Honda Accord and a Mercedes-Benz 350 CLK sports coupe.
“There’s some clear proof to us that some motorists are taking a deliberate economic decision not to register their car or take out CTP (Compulsory Third Party) insurance, and that has implications for all Canberra’s road users,” a/DCPO Colbran said.
“Unregistered and unlicensed/suspended/disqualified drivers are significantly over-represented in serious and fatal collisions so RAPID’s role will continue over the summer months to make our roads safer.”