Government looks to introduce new roadside breathalysers

The government is looking to introduce new roadside breathalyser technology which will allow police to gather on-the-spot proof of drink driving.

Companies are invited to bid for a share of £350,000 to bring the new mobile breathalyser to market and it is expected to be in use by police forces by summer 2020.

Mobile evidential breath tests will allow police to gather early evidence of drink driving, by taking a breath sample from suspect drivers at the roadside. The instant test means they will not need to be taken back to a police station to obtain evidence as is currently the case.

It will mean those marginally over the drink drive limit will not have extra time to ‘sober up’ and stand a chance of passing a later test at the station. It will also free up crucial police time and resources.

The competition is being run by PACTS (Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety) in the summer, and will invite companies to submit proposed technologies which will rapidly calculate the amount of ethanol in exhaled breath for use at the roadside.

The government has also announced investigation teams dedicated to analysing the cause of road collisions will be deployed to UK roads later this year, as part of plans to improve road safety.

Supported by £480,000 of government funding, the RAC Foundation will lead the trial of an innovative new approach to road casualty investigation alongside police forces, with dedicated teams carrying out in-depth research in selected cases to get a better understanding of what is really causing collisions on our roads.

Drawing on the example of the internationally recognised Accident Investigation Branches for Rail, Maritime and Aviation, collisions will be analysed in three regions over three years.

RAC Foundation will work alongside DfT, Highways England, DVSA and the police to gather learning that will help inform government’s long term strategy for road safety.

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