NZ Police has launched its new fleet of Mobile Road Safety Bases (MRSB) to enable road policing staff to target and prevent unsafe road behaviour.
“The new fleet of MRSB comprises six Isuzu trucks and 22 VW Crafter Vans and will be deployed throughout the country over the next five months,” said Director National Road Policing Centre, Superintendent Steve Greally.
“A Mobile Road Safety Base is an essential piece of equipment enabling Police to process evidential breath testing on the roadside.”
The roll out began in December 2020, with one MRSB truck being deployed in Auckland. A second truck will soon be deployed in the Central North Island, and the first VW Crafter Van will go to Tasman district.
When MRSB are used in targeted high-risk locations the specialised vehicles make it easier to process large numbers of suspected drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
“As a committed Road to Zero partner our dedicated road policing staff are out on our roads every day targeting and preventing unsafe behaviour to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads. Any death or serious injury from a road crash is one too many, especially if it could have been prevented,” says Commissioner of Police, Andrew Coster.
He said police remained focused on changing four main behaviours (RIDS: restraints, impairment, distraction, speed) which contribute to death and injury on our roads as a result of people driving too fast for the conditions, driving while impaired (by alcohol, drugs, or fatigue), driving while distracted – including using a cell phone, and not being properly restrained.
“We can’t be everywhere 24/7 and we aren’t in the car with drivers policing their behaviour so our key message to the public is that road safety is everyone’s responsibility.”
“This message will be on each MRSB, along with our RIDS messages, slow down – drive sober – wear your seatbelt – and minimise distractions, so everyone can arrive alive.”
It is expected the heavily branded MRSB will attract attention from the public and, with our people being visible on our roads and supported by other marketing campaigns, will encourage good driving behaviour.
As the rest of the new vehicles come on board, they will replace the ageing fleet of 21 mobile road safety bases being phased out.
The new Isuzu truck requires a Class 2 licence, but the VW Crafter van drives like a car and can be driven with a standard Class 1 licence. They are smaller, easier to maintain and park, and use large batteries charged by mains power to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. By identifying areas where a van can be used instead of a truck, we can reduce our fuel use, running cost and carbon footprint.
The VW Crafter van uses a modern environmentally responsible solution to monitor and charge auxiliary batteries via stop-start technology when necessary. This eliminates the need for an external generator or for the vehicle to constantly idle while on the side of the road.