New technology means that police forces across the country will be able to instantly access DVLA driver photos…
New Police Technology
Police forces will now be able to instantly access driving license photos via the DVLA; allowing them to confirm the identities of motorists at the roadside. This, ultimately, will help to save time and even reduce the number of arrests being made. The new technology was developed by the DVLA itself, and allows officers to access its photo database via smart devices. Up until now, officers would have to wait an average of 16 minutes to confirm a driver’s identity.
Sometimes, the checks have taken so long that arrests have been made simply so checks can be conducted at a station. The new technology has been trialled by select police forces since 2019; and the DVLA believes it’s already saved in excess of 14,000 hours for Road Police Unit Officers. Moreover, it’s made roadside checks 66% quicker than they used to be. As of now, 18 forces are using the technology and 10 are due to follow over the next month. However, all forces will have access to the database in the long-term.
Good for Innocent Drivers
Whilst the DVLA’s new tech is great for police officers, is also excellent news for law-abiding drivers. Baroness Vere, the roads minister, commented on the changes. She said, “this development will not only free up valuable police time but also make sure innocent drivers can get back on their journeys quicker”. Julie Lennard, chief executive for the DVLA, also welcomed the developments. She said, “the ability to support quicker and more robust roadside checks for motoring offences through the better use of technology is something we were pleased to help deliver”.
Crucially, the new database can only be accessed when an officer is questioning a motorist. They’re not accessible at any other time, nor are they retained; which should be enough to calm the nerves of those with privacy concerns. So far, 90,000 driver images have been accessed by various police forces.
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