The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) has been awarded a grant by the UK transport minister to run a competition to encourage the development of mobile evidential breath testing instruments for use by UK police.
Up to £350,000 (EUR 400,000) will be available to encourage manufacturers in the sector to invest in devices which meet the UK standard.
Currently, when a UK driver provides a positive alcohol screening test by the roadside, the police are required to take the driver back to the police station to obtain an evidential sample. The Government, in its 2011 Strategic Framework for Road Safety, committed to obtaining type approval for roadside evidential equipment.
The competition aims to result in one or more type approved devices which can be operated by police forces throughout the UK by July 2020. It will involve three stages with money awarded to one or more manufacturers at each stage.
David Davies, Executive Director of PACTS, said: “The number of GB deaths involving illegal levels of alcohol has not changed significantly since 2010, while the number of serious injuries rose in 2016 to its highest since 2012. Evidential roadside testing will greatly improve the effectiveness and efficiency of police enforcement, and we hope will lead to substantial reductions in deaths and injuries.”