No congestion despite automatic alco-barriers

17:16 - 26 Sep 2019 / News

In August, the Swedish Infrastructure Minister Tomas Eneroth officially opened the first automatic sobriety checkpoint at the Port of Gothenburg. After more than a month with the equipment in place, the Energy Port's operations manager Dan-Erik Andersson can confirm that the traffic flow works without interruption.

The aoutomatic alco-barriers were installed in August. Photo: Gothenburg Port Authority.

The Port of Gothenburg is one of the first ports to use automated sobriety checkpoint technology. The equipment has been installed at Gate 1 at the Port of Gothenburg Energy Port, one of the largest open access energy terminals in Sweden, handling more than 20 million tonnes of energy products each year. The Energy Port is also classified as protected property under the Protective Security Act.

Elvir Dzanic, newly appointed chief executive of Gothenburg Port Authority, stated that the new sobriety testing system also offers further potential for the Port of Gothenburg to maintain its competitive edge.

“Quite apart from the safety aspect out on the roads, the system will also ensure the safety of our partners, freight and employees inside the terminal, making us more competitive,” said Elvir Dzanic.

3,000 vehicles per day
Each day upwards of 3,000 vehicles pass through Gate 1, and the random breathalyser checks take place in conjunction with id controls at the gate. The checkpoint equipment randomly selects drivers to undergo a breathalyser test. If the test is negative, confirming the driver is sober, the barrier is opened. If the test is positive, the barrier will stay down and the police will be alerted.

The barriers are qickly passed - if you are sober. Photo: Gothenburg Port Authority.

“There was some concern among our customers initially about how traffic flows would be affected by this, but now that some time has passed, we can see that it works really well. The technology works and the barrier can be passed swiftly, even if you are selected to be tested,” says Dan-Erik Andersson, Operations Manager at the Energy Port.

Exactly at what frequency the checks are carried out, Dan-Erik Andersson does not want to reveal, but he says that checks are made at shorter intervals during low traffic, and slightly longer when the pressure is highest.

“This way we can ensure that the flow works all the time, around the clock.”

Few incidents
Since the sobriety checks were introduced in the port, a few occasional control cases have shown positive results and the police have been contacted. But Dan-Erik Andersson does not believe drink-driving is more common among those passing in and out of the Port of Gothenburg or at other ports compared with society in general:

“Haulage drivers nowadays are highly professional and many who pass through our gates already have alcolocks fitted to their vehicles. Still, we are classed as protected property and safety is our first priority at all times. We always do everything in our power to ensure we have a secure port and a safe working environment,” Dan-Erik Andersson concluded.

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