Modernizing the Transportation Provisions of the Criminal Code - Discussion Paper
International Experience with RBT
The introduction RBT in 1993, along with the lowering of blood alcohol limits for drivers under the age of twenty to .03, day-time speed camera enforcement and broader speed reduction campaigns, road safety advertising campaigns, is estimated to have reduced nighttime fatal and serious crashes by 22 % in 1996.
The expanded media campaign and aggressively visible RBT checkpoints while only initiated in the North Island jurisdiction, is estimated to have been responsible for decreasing night-time and fatal crashes nationally by a further 32%. Thus, the cumulative crash reduction from these three major interventions (along with the other interventions mentioned above) was 54%.
It is estimated that the program saved society more than $1 billion in 1997 (1996 dollars). From society's viewpoint, the program returned an estimated $ 26.10 per dollar invested. The government of New Zealand is estimated to have saved almost $80 million. The program returned approximately double its cost.
RBT was introduced in Queensland on December 1, 1988. During the first year of implementation, Queensland experienced a 19% reduction in all serious accidents (789) and a 35% reduction in all fatal accidents (194).
The long-term effects of RBT in Queensland could not be estimated at the time since the data for the years prior to 1986 was inadequate. It should be noted that the study also found an 18% reduction in fatal accidents as a result of the introduction of a .05 BAC limit and a reduction of 15% as a result of enhanced police enforcement through a "Reduce Intoxicated Driving" campaign.
RBT was introduced on January 6, 1983. During the first year of implementation, Tasmania experienced a 24 % reduction in all serious accidents. This resulted in preventing an estimated 36 accidents during this period.
RBT was introduced in Victoria in 1976 and was re-structured in 1989. In 1977, 49% of all drivers killed were found to be in excess of .05% BAC. In 1992 that figure was reduced to 21%.
RBT was introduced in Western Australia on October 1, 1988. During the first year of implementation, Western Australia experienced a 13 % reduction in all serious accidents. This resulted in preventing an estimated 334 accidents during this period. During the first year of implementation, Western Australia experienced a 28 % reduction in all fatal collisions (72) and a 26 % reduction in all single-vehicle night-time accidents (212). The long-term effect of RBT in Western Australia has been:
- 13 % reduction in all serious accidents.
- 28% reduction of all fatal accidents.
- 26 % reduction in single-vehicle night-time accidents.
NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA
RBT was introduced in New South Wales on December 17, 1982. Taking into account, and thereby controlling, factors such as weather information, road usage indicators, time factors and the .05 legislation introduced in December 1980, it was found that RBT is extremely effective.
The initial effect of random breath testing on total fatal accidents was extremely marked, with a drop of 48% that was sustained for a period of 4.5 months. The initial impact on all serious accidents was a 19% decline that was sustained for a period of 15 months. The initial impact on single-vehicle night-time accidents was a 26% decline that lasted a period of 10 years.
The long term impact on all serious accidents was a range of 3-18% reduction that is estimated to have prevented 6,742 serious accidents between 1982 and 1992.
The long term impact on all fatal accidents was a range of 17-42% reduction that is estimated to have prevented 1,487 fatal accidents between 1982 and 1992. The long term impact on all serious accidents was a range of 3-26% reduction that is estimated to have prevented 3,246 accidents between 1982 and 1992.
There was an estimated 12% fewer such accidents for every 1 000 drivers tested, an effect that intensified as levels of RBT enforcement were increased. There was no discernible impact of RBT on non-alcohol related accidents.
The New South Wales program, including media publicity, cost approximately $3.5 million in 1990 Australian currency annually. The random breath testing program is estimated conservatively to save 200 lives each year, with savings to the community of at least $140 million in 1990 Australian currency each year.
RBT came into force in Ireland in July 2006 and was credited by the Road Safety Authority (RSA) with reducing the number of people being killed on Irish roads by almost a quarter (23%) or 80 fewer deaths recorded in the eleven month period since the introduction of RBT compared to the previous eleven month period.
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