Breathalyser tests and road checks to increase over festive season
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During the festive season, Police Traffic work will be intensifying with more breathalyser tests and road checks, both during the day and night to ensure better road security across Gozo and Malta.
These will be assisted by ALE police and K9 section for searches against drugs, the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security said today.
During a visit held at the Police Traffic Section in Floriana on Christmas Eve, Minister Abela appealed for responsible entertainment and respect towards the work of security forces, which sees an increase in work demands at this time of the year..
In this occasion he outlined th work carried out by Traffic Police in 2016. He mentioned that in 2016, 230 breathalyser tests were held in different localities both in Gozo and Malta. A substantial increase on tests held in 2015; 89 breathalyser test. “This was permitted also thanks to new road side breathalyser tests attained by police. Portable apparatus, providing immediate results that can be used as evidence in Court.”
With regards to road checks, in 2016 there were 850 checks, with 250 being done by the traffic section mostly in areas of entertainment.
He also mentioned the number of people arraigned in court on driving under influence of alcohol. In 2016, these amounted to 190 people, with 89 already found guilty. Sentences varies from fines between €1,200- €1,800 and suspension of driving license for a number of months.
In terms of the use of mobile phones while driving, he said that in 2016, 7,000 contraventions were issued, with 5,551 being from the traffic section.
Minister Abela spoke about attention being given to the strengthening of this section both with an increase in human resources and number of vehicles.
This section, today has 52 police, with 45 traffic police all having their own vehicle without the need of sharing between them, as used to happen in the past. He noted that currently discussions are ongoing for the acquisition of more vehicles in 2017.
Together with Commissioner of Police Lawrence Cutajar he thanked both the district and squad police for their hard work and said that traffic police will remain committed to increase road surveillance.
He appealed to the public to use alternative transport if they consume alcohol. He mentioned that in 2016, there was a total of 6,500 accidents, with 23 fatalities and 300 serious injuries.
In 2016, 26,000 people lost their lives on EU roads with the top killers being consumption of alcohol, mobile phone use and fatigue.
He also expressed gratitude to the work done by all members of discipline forces for all their sacrifices to ensure public protection.
Photograph: DOI/Jason Borg