Police conducting a Random Breath Test opetration.
Police conducting a Random Breath Test opetration.

Booze buses back in force as Covid restrictions ease

As Covid-19 restriction ease, NSW Police will be bringing booze buses back to target drink-and-drug-drivers.

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

RELATED: Pokies back in business amid fears of a second Covid wave

OPEN AGAIN: There will be ‘social distance ambassadors’ operating at the club.
OPEN AGAIN: There will be ‘social distance ambassadors’ operating at the club.

The move also comes in preparation for the the long weekend.

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 Random Breath Test (RBT) and Roadside Drug Test (RDT).

This saw a significant reduction in stationary operations and increased mobile operations across NSW.

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 for 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.

"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."

BACK BEFORE LONG WEEKEND: An RBT police operation. Picture: Dylan Robinson
BACK BEFORE LONG WEEKEND: An RBT police operation. Picture: Dylan Robinson

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."