Digital system to allow police to instantly check drivers’ identity

Written by Sam Trendall on 15 July 2021 in News
News

Technology developed by DVLA has already saved 14,000 hours so far

Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire/PA Images

A new digital system will allow police officers to near-instantly check drivers’ identities at the roadside.

The technology, developed by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, enables officers to use a mobile device to rapidly search the Police National Computer to obtain information on a motorist’s driving licence number. This can then be used to search the DVLA databases to obtain the photo linked to the number – enabling police to ascertain whether a driver has provided accurate information and genuine documents. Images are only available to officers on the scene and are not stored on their device.

Before the introduction of the technology, which is already in use across 18 forces around the UK and will soon be deployed by 10 more, these checks took approximately 16 minutes.


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The system has already been used to check the identity of almost 90,000 motorists, saving a cumulative total of more than 14,000 hours, the DVLA said, which has resulted in “more time for patrolling, supporting investigations and community work”. 

The agency’s chief executive Julie Lennard said: “As a digital organisation we are always looking at ways to bring technological developments into the public domain – providing improvements that can directly benefit citizens. 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.”

Roads minister Baroness Vere added: “This government is constantly striving to be at the forefront of technological advances and this particular development will not only free up valuable police time but also make sure innocent drivers can get back on their journeys quicker.”

 

About the author

Sam Trendall is editor of PublicTechnology

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