Police are now able to check a driver’s DVLA photo when conducting a roadside check. The aim is to speed up the process of confirming the driver’s identity.
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New technology developed
New technology has been developed by the DVLA and the Home Office for the purpose of police roadside checks. Now, when someone is pulled over by the police, the attending officer can enter the individual’s driving licence number into the police national computer. This will bring up the driver’s photo, which he/she will have submitted to the DVLA when applying for their licence.
The idea is that the police can use this image to verify the driver’s identity. The image is only accessible during the check and is not retained. Also, the police can only access the DVLA records when enforcing road traffic offences.
Why the new technology?
This new technology was developed to speed up the process of roadside checks. Without it, confirming a driver’s identity can take up to 16 minutes. An officer may have to conduct further checks on the information given by a driver, and in some cases, it can lead to a person’s arrest for their identity to be verified.
The technology was piloted in the summer of 2019. To date, it is said to have led to the following benefits:
- 14,000 hours saved by Road Police Unit Officers and local Policing Officers
- Roadside checks are 66% faster, meaning less time wasted by drivers
- The police accessed 86,513 images to identify drivers at the roadside
Who is using the new technology?
A total of 18 police forces are currently using the technology across the UK. They are:
- The City of London Police
- Police Scotland
- South Yorkshire
- West Yorkshire
- Devon and Cornwall
There is a plan to roll it out to a further 10 police forces over the next few weeks.
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