Tony O'Kane | May 7, 2009

Tasmania's police force has outlined plans to use new camera technology to put the squeeze on disqualified drivers and owners of unregistered cars.

The cameras will work by scanning the licence plates of passing vehicles, cross-referencing that information with a police database and then determining whether the owner is disqualified and whether the car is unregistered or otherwise of interest to the police.

The camera plan will form part of the Tasmania police's response to an increase in fatalities caused by illegal road users in the state, with trials of the licence-scanning system due to commence soon.

Vehicle occupants not wearing seatbelts will also be targeted, as will speeding drivers. New legislation giving the police greater power to confiscate vehicles is also before Parliament, which, if approved, will allow the state's law enforcers to confiscate the vehicles of drivers that either speed by more than 45km/h, commit a second offence while disqualified or drive dangerously.

Tasmania has the second highest per-capita rate of road fatalities, with 13 deaths occurring per 100,000 people. The national average is 8 per 100,000. The Tasmanian road toll for 2009 currently stands at 27.

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