Dodgy cars nabbed in crackdown

Police conduct number plate checks and breath tests as part of a blitz around Wangaratta yesterday. Picture: TARA GOONAN

Police conduct number plate checks and breath tests as part of a blitz around Wangaratta yesterday. Picture: TARA GOONAN

EIGHT unroadworthy cars were nabbed but no false number plates were detected as part of Operation Drive-off in Wangaratta yesterday.

Leading Sen-Constable Ross Woodrow labelled three vehicles as “seriously” unroadworthy, with major brake and tyre faults.

“We also picked up eight unregistered vehicles, one seat belt offence and two unlicensed drivers,” the Glenrowan officer said.

“We didn’t come across any drivers with false plates, so that’s always a good thing.”

Wangaratta, Glenrowan and Benalla police were involved in the blitz, a targeted operation on the north and south end of Wangaratta.

Police used automatic number plate recognition technology to catch offenders.

Leading Sen-Constable Ross Woodrow with the number plate scanning camera used the two day blitz around Wangaratta and district. Picture: TARA GOONAN

Leading Sen-Constable Ross Woodrow with the number plate scanning camera used the two day blitz around Wangaratta and district. Picture: TARA GOONAN

An automatic number plate recognition camera can flag in seconds whether a car is unregistered, stolen or its driver has warrants for unpaid fines or arrests.

Police conducted 721 breath tests and they all came back negative.

Sen-Constable Woodrow said yesterday’s operation aimed to get an important message across following a spike in petrol drive-offs.

“Petrol drive-offs can change someone’s life,” he said.

“It’s a criminal offence that can alter one’s career path.

“Hopefully we can get the message across and reduce those things.”

The operation follows a successful one in March where sheriffs, police and VicRoads officers worked together to recoup $7.7 million missing from government coffers.

“That operation was very successful, but this one just involved police,” Sen-Constable Woodrow said.

“As part of the (March) operation we identified three truck drivers with amphetamines and nabbed five suspended drivers.

“We also interviewed drivers over numerous offences such as bogus number plates and plates that were very badly faded or damaged.”

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