Thursday, 29 October 2009 06:00
Drivers who speed on Victorian roads will soon be the target of more than 200 high-tech radars currently being installed in police vehicles.
Upgraded Moving Mode Radar (MMR) equipment will allow police to lock on and detect the speed of vehicles travelling towards or away, from distances of up to one kilometre.
Police believe the new equipment will save lives and reduce road trauma during the busy Christmas and holiday period.
The directional radars, named Stalkers, will be installed on the dashboards of police vehicles by the end of November.
The devices are primarily used on country roads but will soon be targeting speeding drivers on the fringe of country and metropolitan areas. .
Traffic Support Division Superintendent David Newton said the equipment would be used to reduce road trauma over the traffic-heavy Christmas and New Year period.
“Some people think it’s safe to speed and only slow down at the locations they regularly see police parked and using radar equipment,” Mr Newton said.
“MMR equipment will surprise those drivers. Those motorists will not be booked by vehicles parked on the side of the road, but by police driving in front and behind them.”
“I read last week about the man who lost his probationary licence in Benalla, just 45 minutes after passing his test in Wangaratta. He was caught by one of the Stalker radars already in operation. This highlights the effectiveness of the technology,” Supt Newton said.
Mr Newton said an increase in traffic on roads over the coming holiday period tempted some drivers to speed to their destinations.
“The MMR technology allows police to target those motorists doing the wrong thing, no matter what direction they are travelling in,” he said.
“Our message to drivers travelling throughout the state remains simple – obey the road rules or we will catch you before someone gets hurt.”
MMRs are already in use in Ballarat, Wyndham, Melton, Horsham, Colac, Stawell, Whittlesea, Sunbury, Romsey, Kyneton, Castlemaine, Numurkah, Tatura, Red Cliffs, Benalla, Wodonga, Bunyip, Drouin, Korumburra, Leongatha, Yarram, Mallacoota and Rosedale.
The State Government has funded the purchase of the new equipment.
Existing and upgraded equipment will be redistributed to remote areas of Victoria to ensure as many roads as possible will be policed with MMR technology.
Police anticipate that by the end of 2010, more than 350 vehicles will be fitted with MMR equipment.