Two new technologies are being trialled in Victoria to crack down on theft and cloning of number plates.
Photo: Herald Sun
Stolen and cloned number plates are often used to hide a vehicle’s identity when committing crimes such as ram raids, petrol drive-offs and toll evasion. In the 12 months to September 2018, Victoria Police recorded more than 19,000 incidents of number plate theft.
The new digital identification methods will make it harder for an offender to hide a vehicle’s identity, as the additional identifiers will not match a stolen or cloned number plate.
One technology is Radio Frequency Identification, inside a sticker on the vehicle’s front windscreen, which will act as a third number plate. The sticker self-destructs when removed, enabling police to identify vehicles that are suspected to have a stolen or cloned number plate.
The other technology is Dedicated Short Range Communications, a new digital technology that can communicate with road infrastructure. It could also be used to identify automated vehicles in the future.
Additional security features for number plates, like holographic patterns on driver’s licences and passports, will also be tested.
The trials are a partnership between VicRoads, Department of Justice and Community Safety, Victoria Police and La Trobe University.