Sergeant Jarrod French of Coffs Clarence Highway patrol directs drivers in for Random Breath Testing at Ulmarra.
Sergeant Jarrod French of Coffs Clarence Highway patrol directs drivers in for Random Breath Testing at Ulmarra.

THEY’RE BACK: Police RBT on our roads over long weekend

AS COVID-19 restrictions have locked down the rest of the state, the familiar site of police random breath test units have been missing from our roads.

But with restrictions easing, and an expected holiday crowd flooding to the Clarence Valley and Northern Rivers areas, police are going to back out in force.

WHY WON’T YOU LISTEN: Police urge care as local road toll climbs

In March, the NSW Police Force Executive – in consultation with Police Association of NSW – introduced a number of precautionary measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection to frontline police and within the community.

One such measure was additional discretion from commanders as to whether or not it was reasonable to undertake stationary RBT and RDT, which saw a significant reduction in stationary operations and increased mobile operations across NSW.

With the easing of various restrictions since Monday including increased patronage at licenced premises and higher traffic volumes, frontline police across NSW have resumed proactive stationary testing operations.

Minister Police and Emergency Services David Elliott and NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, announcement about the return of Random Breath and Roadside Drug Testing ahead of the long weekend. Photo Jeremy Piper
Minister Police and Emergency Services David Elliott and NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, announcement about the return of Random Breath and Roadside Drug Testing ahead of the long weekend. Photo Jeremy Piper

Motorists should also expect to see an increased police presence on the state’s roads across the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, with police continuing to target dangerous driver behaviour, including speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving tired, seatbelt and helmet compliance, and mobile phone/driver distractions.

Minister Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said the easing of COVID-19 restrictions on licensed premises and regional travel called for a return of proactive stationary testing operations.

DRUG DRIVING: Two caught in Northern Rivers incidents

“With the easing of restrictions on travel and going out to support restaurants and pubs ahead of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, the community is understandably itching to return to some form of normalcy,” Mr Elliott said.

“Irresponsible or reckless behaviour that endangers others will not be tolerated – there’s no excuse for not abiding by the road rules. The community has already been through enough already – we’ve had enough trauma.”

Minister Police and Emergency Services David Elliott and NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, announcement about the return of Random Breath and Roadside Drug Testing ahead of the long weekend. Photo Jeremy Piper
Minister Police and Emergency Services David Elliott and NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, announcement about the return of Random Breath and Roadside Drug Testing ahead of the long weekend. Photo Jeremy Piper

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, said this is the first long weekend since restrictions eased and implored the community to be responsible and drive safely.

“We’ve had bushfires, flooding and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic so we understand that people are keen to travel regionally to stimulate the local economy, particularly over the long weekend,” Assistant Commissioner Corboy said.

“However, there is no excuse to get behind the wheel and flagrantly flout the law. The road rules have not changed, and we make no apologies for stopping selfish road users whose irresponsible driving put themselves and others at risk.

“The message is clear – if your driving puts you or others at risk, you will be stopped, and you will face the consequences of your actions.”

Minister Police and Emergency Services David Elliott and NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, announcement about the return of Random Breath and Roadside Drug Testing ahead of the long weekend. Photo Jeremy Piper
Minister Police and Emergency Services David Elliott and NSW Police Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, announcement about the return of Random Breath and Roadside Drug Testing ahead of the long weekend. Photo Jeremy Piper


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