Wednesday, 20 September 2023 - 9:29am

Pressing on towards Safer Roads

2 min read

News article photos (2 items)


The Impairment Prevention Team (IPT) in Tāmaki Makaurau was recently recognised for making a record number of Roadside Breath Tests (RBTs), and they’ve done it again!

Working in collaboration with Tāmaki Makaurau Road Safety Partners for the past six years, they have made significant progress towards achieving Safer Roads. The IPT’s role has been integral, and their huge efforts saw slightly over 378,000 RBTs completed during the 2022-23 financial year.

This is a 40 per cent increase on the previous financial year, and Auckland Transport has noticed - so much so that they sent glowing feedback highlighting the joint team’s efforts.

"We recognise that it has been a challenging few years for NZ Police, with many unplanned events impacting on your ability to lift performance in this important area," wrote Acting Board Chair Wayne Donnelly.

"We are encouraged by recent reporting showing a 40% increase in the number of RBTs completed in 2022/23 compared to 2020/21.

"This is now the second year in a row where we have seen a sustained increase and we would like to thank your teams for their work."

IPT Senior Sergeant Jesse Mowat says it’s an outstanding effort by the three dedicated IPT sergeants and 27 constables, who make up less than two per cent of Police staff numbers within Tāmaki Makaurau.

He says it’s been a great year and attributes this achievement to working smarter around deployment.

“We haven’t given drivers a free pass due to bad weather and have chosen places to base ourselves where we can have a bit of cover from the rain and keep working.

“The increase in impairment test numbers has been helped by COVID limitations being minimal now, and staff not being needed for border checkpoints, which has meant we’ve been able to focus on our core role, which is policing the roads.

"Filling abstraction positions has also been key to having more staff out there doing the work.”

Jesse adds that the team doesn’t only focus on roadside breath tests to keep roads safe, but also targets risky driving behaviour such as speeding, not wearing seatbelts and driving with distractions, which includes using cellphones.

"The three NCOs who lead the team are dedicated and experienced with a strong expertise in road policing and this knowledge and leadership is valuable for staff.”

Acting Superintendent Trevor Beggs, Director Deployment Tāmaki Makaurau, acknowledges the team’s outstanding efforts.

“All our staff should be rightly proud of what they have achieved, and the harm they have prevented through their hard work and dedication,” he says.

“While we can’t put a number to it, we know with certainty that there are people alive and well today, and families who remain unbroken by avoidable road trauma, because our people prevented significant harm occurring on our roads.”