Malaysia will install cameras that automatically detect cars with unpaid fines, the police have announced.

The new system will help avoid jams caused by the police setting up roadblocks to stop passing cars and check their records.

The government also wants to reduce the number of outstanding traffic tickets using this technology. “A total of 1.06 million outstanding summons have yet to be settled and we are looking at bringing down this number,” said federal traffic police chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Datuk Mohd Fuad Abdul Latiff.

The camera will be mounted on police cars and detect number plates on cars passing by. “When a vehicle passes by, the camera will capture an image of the number plate and send to the police database. If the number plate has any summons tagged to it, then the system will inform our personnel and they can conduct an arrest or take appropriate measures,” he said.

Police will start using 20 such cameras in the next two months, including at nine entry and exit points in the country. The initial phase will cost RM 30 million (US$6.89 million).

The system can also be used to detect vehicles linked to other criminal activities. “The CID [Criminal Investigation Department] and Narcotics Crime Investigation Department will also benefit from the use of the system,” Datuk Mohd Fuad said.