Local police will not have adequate resources to target unregistered vehicles once registration stickers are repealed from January next year.
The State Government recently announced registration stickers will no longer be issued from 2013 to save the Roads and Maritime Services at least $575,000 each year and “cut red tape” for businesses.
But Police Association of NSW President, Scott Weber, said that the State Government’s move will only strain police resources – with only two patrol cars on average per local area command currently installed with Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology.
“This does not make the roads any safer, it actually puts drivers in jeopardy,” Mr Weber said.
“It will be easier for innocent people to forget to renew their registration and we will likely see accidents involving unregistered vehicles, which penalises both drivers. Innocent people may also get fined for being unregistered because they have forgotten, especially because our lives are so busy.”
But the effects go even further according to Mr Weber, who said it would be more difficult for police to identify illegal behaviour such as stolen vehicles, stolen number plates and cars modified with stolen parts.
“Whereas every police officer on the roads currently has a visual check on a car’s registration, police resources will be now only limited to the patrol cars that are fitted with the technology and these cars will not be in operation 24 hours a day so there will be more difficulties in identifying unregistered vehicles,” he said.
“Rego stickers identify the VIN number or chassis which makes it very easy for police to identify [stolen cars and parts] but this information is not as easily obtained through the ANPR technology.”
But the government has defended its move, saying that it is following the recommendations of the Better Regulation Office and Roads and Maritime Services.
82 more cars will be fitted with the technology by the end of 2013.
“Despite the abolition of registration labels, current developments in NSW Police and RMS technology will still ensure the present levels of compliance and enforcement are maintained through, for example, automatic number plate recognition technology,” maintained Duncan Gay, Minster for Roads.