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Operation RAID: Remove All Impaired Drivers

For Immediate Release

 
Operation RAID: Remove All Impaired Drivers

For the first time in history, all Federal, State and Territory police agencies will join with New Zealand Police to embark on a co-ordinated Australia and New Zealand operation to target road users in the lead up to Christmas. Codenamed Operation RAID, its aim is to make Australia and New Zealand’s roads safer this Christmas by removing and deterring alcohol and drug impaired drivers.

Operation Raid is a joint initiative of Commissioners across Australia and New Zealand to draw attention to the broader implications associated with drink/drug driving. Motorists are being reminded that alcohol and drugs are major contributors to increases in road trauma and that improved driver behaviour will save lives.

Operation RAID 2010 will focus on increasing driver awareness and journey planning and will see police deployed in highly visible operations targeting drug and alcohol impaired drivers. Police strategies will include an increase in random breath and drug testing to positively influence driver behaviour. Today’s launch of Operation Raid is timed to coincide with the festive season which traditionally sees an increase in the consumption of alcohol and drugs.

Australian and New Zealand spokesperson, Mr Karl O’Callaghan, Commissioner of Police for Western Australia, speaking from the launch in Canberra today said, “Road safety is everybody’s responsibility. We would like all motorists to plan ahead before getting behind the wheel in order to not become a statistic this Christmas.”

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“Alcohol is consistently in the top three causes of road trauma, along with speeding and failing to wear seatbelts. This operation will be targeted and specifically aimed at removing as many drink and drug drivers as possible from our roads.”

Operation RAID will involve saturating targeted locations and no motorist will be exempt from the operation. All road users are encouraged to make alternative transport arrangements such as nominating a designated driver or using public transport or taxis when alcohol has been consumed. Australian and New Zealand statistics confirm that substance impairment is a major factor in road trauma. Alcohol continues to be the single biggest contributor in serious crashes.

About a quarter of fatal crashes on Australian roads involve drivers or riders with blood alcohol levels above the legal limit (Australian Transport Council, 2008).

A five-year study by ESR in New Zealand revealed that of 1046 drivers who died between 2004 and 2009 (89 per cent of drivers who died in that period) 48 per cent tested positive for alcohol or drugs (Poulsen, 2010).

The national operation will run from the 26-28 November 2010 with a number of jurisdictions continuing the operation until midnight on Sunday 12 December 2010.

##ENDS##

 

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