Fingerprint tech, PINs and key security to fight car crime

Better key security, fingerprint technology and PINs could protect drivers from having their cars stolen, under a proposal by RACQ to drive down vehicle theft across the State.

RACQ Principal Technical Researcher Russell Manning said the Club’s suggestions were made in a submission to a State Government Inquiry which was investigating solutions to vehicle crime following an increase in  car thefts in Queensland. 

“Most vehicles are already very secure and the only practical method of stealing them is with keys, which is estimated to be a factor in about 70 percent of thefts nationally,” Mr Manning said. 

“The first step is looking at how we can convince drivers to keep their keys secure because it’s cheap and doesn’t rely on the addition of any new technology.

“After that, technology that incorporates a personal identifier could be investigated and that might include keypads, PINs and fingerprint recognition which would be unique to the driver and act like a second line of defence.” 

However, Mr Manning said the Club did not want unnecessary financial burden placed on motorists. 

“Technology like this could be expensive, so we urge the Government to take a careful look at how much it would cost, who would be paying, and whether the benefits stack up,” he said. 

“Ultimately this group of thieves are often opportunists who won’t want to confront a homeowner and so they won’t spend too much time searching for keys. So, the best bet is to make it hard for them and keep your keys out of sight. 

“Treat your keys like cash and don’t leave them in the car even if it’s in the garage, keep your doors locked while outside and secure your windows against unauthorised entry.” 

RACQ’s submission into the Inquiry could be viewed here.