Ipswich Road Policing Unit Senior Sergeant Troy Hamilton, Zarraffa's Yamanto franchisees Leah and Jason Meares, and Senior Constable Dave Olsen. Ipswich police are handing out free coffee vouchers to well behaved drivers over Christmas.
Ipswich Road Policing Unit Senior Sergeant Troy Hamilton, Zarraffa's Yamanto franchisees Leah and Jason Meares, and Senior Constable Dave Olsen. Ipswich police are handing out free coffee vouchers to well behaved drivers over Christmas.

Free cuppa on the coppas aims to reward the good guys

IT’S NOT every day you hear of people deliberately queuing up to get themselves breath tested by the local traffic police, but at Christmas time in Ipswich, the spirit of giving is strong.

Tired of the negative stereotypes around road safety enforcement, the district’s top traffic cop, Senior Sergeant Troy Hamilton, thought outside the box and decided to do something to reward the good guys, rather than just punishing the bad ones.

After four years, the partnership between the Road Policing Unit and Zarraffa’s Coffee at Yamanto has turned into something of a Christmas tradition, in which Santa comes early for those motorists doing the right thing.

From now and for the duration of the holiday road safety blitz, Ipswich police will be offering vouchers for a free coffee for drivers who are pulled over for an RBT and are licenced, registered, and under the alcohol limit.

Sen Sgt Hamilton said the public response to the initiative had been overwhelmingly positive.

“It started as just a way for us to acknowledge people who are doing the right thing,” he said.

“Quite often people associate us with a negative experience and we want to change that.”

Zarraffa’s Yamanto franchisee Jason Meares said customers were so enthusiastic about the free vouchers that they would often drive straight to his business from the RBT site.

“I know when the police are doing an RBT around here because they will drive straight here afterwards,” Mr Meares said.

“Then they’ll call their friends and tell them to go through it too.”

This year’s Christmas road safety campaign is as important as ever, with the state’s road toll jumping massively from the previous year.

A total of 257 people have died in crashes on Queensland roads this year – up from 209 at the same time last year.

Ipswich’s road toll is actually down from 16 this time last year, to 12 at the moment.

Sen Sgt Hamilton said police were only just beginning to ramp up the number of RBT’s in the wake of this year’s restrictions.

“The fact of the matter is it isn’t about revenue raising for us,” he said.

“What our presence does out on the road is it influences driver behaviour.”