The first of a new fleet of alcohol and drug buses are set to hit the road to help Victoria Police crackdown on drunk and drug-affected drivers.
Police Minister Lisa Neville today joined Victoria Police and the Transport Accident Safety Commission (TAC) to watch officers put their training to the test, using the new state-of-the-art bus in an operation to catch drug and alcohol affected drivers in Southbank today.
A total of 10 buses, funded by the Andrews Labor Government in the Victorian Budget 2015/16, are about to roll off the production line, with the first to appear on Victorian roads ahead of the Easter long weekend.
The buses, an investment of $11.7 million by the Labor Government, were built by specialist vehicle manufacturers Brimarco, based in Ballarat and Derrimut-based Byron Wade.
The new fleet of alcohol and drug buses will replace the existing fleet by March 2019 and will give police greater flexibility in targeting locations across the state.
The new fleet includes six smaller buses that can access locations that are currently difficult for larger buses to reach including narrow and difficult to access country roads.
This flexibility means police can target more areas, more often and keep our roads safe.
The buses are fitted out with the latest technology, including LED lights, Guardian Detection System, side lights, a rear-mounted variable message sign and programmable emergency lights and siren control.
Around 3,000 full-licence drivers are caught with blood-alcohol concentrations of between 0.05 and 0.07 each year. In 2016, more than 55 per cent of drivers and riders killed on the roads were drug or alcohol impaired.
Over the Labour Day Long weekend alone, police reported around one in six drivers tested had drugs in their system.
Victoria proudly leads the country in its efforts to target drug drivers, with the Labor Government providing permanent funding for police to conduct 100,000 drug tests every year.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Police Lisa Neville
“The first of the new buses will come online in time for the Easter long weekend to reduce road trauma and to target drug-affected drivers.”
“The new bus will help police make our roads safer by targeting those under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, who are risking lives by getting behind the wheel.”
Quote attributable to Transport Accident Commission CEO Joe Calafiore
“We don’t want to see any more people killed or injured because of drink-driving or drug-driving – so the better equipped Victoria Police is to target this behaviour, the safer our roads will be.”