Our partnership with the NSW Police Force involves many projects to improve road safety. These include high visibility enforcement to reduce speeding and drink driving, as well as other safety risks such as fatigue, distraction and non-use of seatbelts.
The success of police Motorcycle Response Teams in the Sydney CBD and Parramatta has led to their expansion. Our partnership with the police has helped add extra officers and bikes to the teams, taking the total number of MRT police in these locations to 24.
The high visibility teams were launched in 2012 in the Sydney CBD and 2013 at Parramatta. Within the first 15 months of operation, there was about a 30 per cent reduction in pedestrian crashes in MRT-patrolled areas. MRT officers target known trouble spots, ease traffic congestion and reduce dangerous behaviour. The teams can quickly promote the free-flow of traffic by targeting choked intersections, pedestrian offences and vehicles running red lights.
The Enhanced Enforcement Program is another of our partnerships with the NSW Police Force. Our funding improves the level of visible police enforcement to help target road user behaviour that causes road trauma. This includes speeding, drink driving, non-use of seatbelts and fatigue. Enhanced enforcement operations are also supported with public education campaigns to target the main behaviours related to crashes in NSW.
The combination of high visibility police enforcement and co-ordinated public education campaigns delivers maximum road safety benefits. We have a long partnership with the NSW Police Force that reflects best-practice through our recent campaigns, including You’re in Our Sights to support the Enhanced Enforcement Program. Our support of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command includes branding highway patrol vehicles with road safety campaign messages. We provided special road safety branding on two highway patrol vehicles for each of the 25 Traffic and Highway Patrol Command clusters to increase awareness of major road safety issues.
The NSW Police Force Traffic and Highway Patrol Command carries out eight statewide operations each year. These operations are funded through the Enhanced Enforcement Program and usually coincide with double-demerit point periods. They are run during long weekend and holiday periods, as well as annual operations in February and November. Statewide operations provide high visibility enforcement, usually on major routes, at times when there are more commuters on NSW roads.
To mark 30 years of random breath testing, we supported the NSW Police Force to launch Operation Paciullo in November 2012. As part of Operation Paciullo, police conducted more than 1 million random breath tests over the 2012/13 summer months and ran a regional road show until November 2013. The road show travelled throughout NSW, educating regional, rural and metro audiences on the importance of safe driving.
We fund the NSW Police Force Traffic and Highway Patrol Command to deliver the Roadside Drug Testing program. Police began roadside drug tests in January 2007 to detect illegal drugs, such as speed, ice, cannabis and ecstasy. These are the most common illegal drugs used and impair driving ability. The program includes about 30,000 random roadside drug tests each year, as well as oral fluid screening and drug analysis.