WHILE stationary roadside breath testing stations may be temporarily abandoned in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, highway patrol and road safety experts are warning drivers that if they do the wrong thing, they will still be caught.
The NSW Police Force executive this week explored measures to minimise the risk to officers and announced that as of Monday, commanders will use their discretion as to whether random drug and alcohol tests will be carried out.
The decision, made in conjunction with and the agreement of the Police Association of NSW, will not only protect the health of first responders but will allow for a more mobile workforce in the future, ready to respond to the expected increase in demand on police resources over the coming weeks.
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Road safety and driver education specialist Matthew Irvine said while stationary RBTs may be stopped for the time being, drivers needed to do the right thing or they still expect to be caught out.
"I think the message needs to be that random breath testing will still continue, it's just the roadside stationary set-ups that will be put on hold," he said.
Still, he said, scaling back may result in an increase of illegal behaviour by some behind the wheel, which he said puts people at risk.
"There's no doubt, when enforcement activities are reduced or scaled back, illegal behaviours increase," Mr Irvine said.
"That can only lead to a greater level of risk taking on the roads."
A spokesperson for NSW police said proactive policing activities played a vital role in keeping the community safe and also confirmed police would continue to remain focused on traffic enforcement strategies, including mobile breath and drug testing.
Roads Minister Andrew Constance said there would still be police on the roads and warned people would be caught if they drink and drive.
"There are still mobile drink driving tests happening across the road network, so you will get caught."
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