RESPONSIBLE SECTOR > Social Initiatives > The road demands you alcohol-free
THE ROAD DEMANDS YOU ALCOHOL FREE
Ten Years of Road Safety Awareness and Alcohol Abuse Prevention
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the La carretera te pide SIN [Don’t drink and drive] campaign, whose efforts are focused on collaboration and the issuing of messages addressing the incompatibility of alcohol and driving, as well as reminding consumers of beer that they can opt for a non-alcoholic version if they plan to drive.
While the vast majority of people living in Spain drink beer responsibly and within the context of the Mediterranean culture, the campaign was created in response to the Spanish brewing industry’s commitment to preventing alcohol abuse and promoting responsible beer consumption. This is why Cerveceros de España [Beer Brewers Association of Spain] has pledged its commitment to education, prevention and responsible drinking as the most effective ways to prevent alcohol abuse.
This campaign has endeavoured to make the driving population in general, and the youngest drivers in particular, aware that alcohol consumption and driving is completely incompatible. Even though beer, along with cider, is the alcoholic beverage with the lowest alcohol content, Cerveceros de España is emphatic about zero alcohol behind the wheel.
Aware that positive messages are truly the most effective and given beer’s popularity, Cerveceros de España offers beer drinkers a non-alcoholic alternative, whose consumption is number one in Europe and is one hundred percent compatible with safe, responsible driving. The message is clear: if you’re going to drive and want a beer, make it alcohol-free because drinking and driving don’t mix.
The campaign was launched in 2000 and since then, the number of collaborations has increased every year. The 15 entities that support and participate in this initiative make possible what is now considered an exemplary campaign for Spanish society and the other Member States of the European Union. The following entities have lent their support to the 2010 campaign:
• Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT)
• Confederación Nacional de Autoescuelas (CNAE)
• Asociación Española de Operadores de Productos Petrolíferos (AOP)
• Real Automóvil Club de España (RACE)
• RACC Automóvil Club
• Asociación Española de la Carretera (AEC)
• Ayuda del Automovilista (ADA)
• Fundación Instituto Tecnológico para la Seguridad del Automóvil (FITSA)
• Comisariado Europeo del Automóvil (CEA)
• Stop Accidentes
• Rotary International
• Fundación Española para la Seguridad Vial (FESVIAL)
• Federación Española de Hostelería (FEHR)
• Asociación de Lesionados Medulares y Grandes Discapacitados Físicos (ASPAYM)
• Asociación para el Estudio de la Lesión Medular Espinal (AESLEME)
The main objective of this campaign, aimed at all drivers, especially young drivers about to receive their driving license, is to promote awareness among the general public, and among drivers in particular, with special emphasis on new drivers, of the incompatibility of alcohol and driving. People who consume beer are also reminded of the possibility of choosing a non-alcoholic alternative as a safe option when behind the wheel.
With this, the campaign adopts the objectives of the European Road Safety Charter, an initiative of the European Commission launched in 2004, of reducing the number of deaths caused by accidents by half by 2010.
Cerveceros de España has also subscribed to the objectives of the EU strategy to support Member States in reducing alcohol-related harm (2006), making a pledge before the European Alcohol and Health Forum, which implements this strategy to develop “La Carretera te pide SIN” for the purpose of reducing alcohol-related harm.
This association has worked on the campaign with the conviction that raising public awareness of road safety requires continued effort to achieve the objectives stated.
SUMMARY OF ACTION TAKEN
In the past 10 years, La carretera te pide SIN has been a platform to bring awareness to the risks of drinking and driving, thereby reducing accident rates on our roads.
With the support of the participating entities, educational materials are distributed to the entities’ members and clients, as well as the media available to these entities, making it possible for a larger part of society to be reached.
The yearly launch of the campaign coincided, until 2009, with the start of summer holidays, a time when many cars are on the road. This year, the campaign kick-off was moved up to spring, coinciding with the Holy Week holidays.
Messages have been issued nationwide through:
• More than 10,000 posters in service stations and driving schools; stoppers at petrol stations
• Around 1,300 billboards located at city entrances and exits around the country
• Adverts placed in Spanish and sports publications (especially in leisure and entertainment sections and supplements, for the purpose of preventing alcohol consumption, which tends to be more prevalent in this area).
• More than 6,000 educational postcards distributed
• Previous campaigns have employed merchandising through the distribution of reminder materials promoting the message to students in driving schools (key chains, steering wheel covers, etc.).
• Since 2007, the campaign has made use of audiovisual resources in the form of a publicity spot shown in cinemas, as well as in the news broadcasted on different television channels. However, this year, the spot has revamped its image and goes from the big screen to new channels of communication offered by the digital world, which is more relevant to the target audience.
Thus, it is also fitting to mention that the 2010 campaign has also spruced up its image, changing its creative pieces and advertising.
This is all reinforced with a proactive PR campaign to promote the message through the media, which kicks off each year with the presentation of the campaign at a press conference, followed by the announcement of the campaign’s information through media throughout Spain.
Cerveceros de España and the Federación Española de Hostelería (FEHR) [Spanish Federation of the Hotel and Restaurant Sector] signed a collaboration agreement in 2009 to educate and promote awareness among professionals in the hotel and restaurant sector in order to foster safe habits among clients in their establishments who they know or believe will be driving.
To promote this action, more than 200,000 brochures were distributed to thousands of establishments throughout Spain and nearly 200 hotel and restaurant management schools to reinforce the message that alcohol and driving are incompatible and to encourage traditional beer consumers to opt for a non-alcoholic version when planning to drive.
THE CAMPAING ON THE WEB
In 2009, a new website, www.lacarreteratepidesin.org, was launched, giving users the opportunity to access information about the campaign, download studies of interest on alcohol and driving, and participate in a responsibility test. La carretera te pide SIN can also be found on the social networking sites Facebook and Tuenti.
For the second consecutive year, the website is offering a responsibility test, aimed at driving school students who are in the final stage of obtaining their driving license; driving students have the opportunity to win one of 25 prizes intended to offset the cost of obtaining one’s driving license.
AN EXEMPLARY CAMPAING: A POSITIVE IMPACT ON ROAD SAFETY
The advent of non-alcoholic beer has been an undeniable success. Spain is the leading producer and consumer of non-alcoholic beer in the European Union: nearly 15% of all beer consumed by Spaniards is non-alcoholic. These consumption patterns are of interest to other countries.
Furthermore, ten years after the launch of the campaign, Cerveceros de España can observe how the campaign’s messages have penetrated society and can attest to how its educational and alcohol abuse prevention efforts for road safety have borne fruit. The most recent data on accident rates issued by the Dirección General de Tráfico (DGT) [Directorate of Traffic] is proof of the effectiveness of this type of campaign, as well as other actions and official measures. The data reveal that the number of drivers whose blood alcohol level exceeded the legal limit has decreased by virtually half in five years, going from 3.97% in 2003 to 1.84% in 2008.
Between 2003 and 2009, the number of road deaths decreased by 52.5%, thereby achieving the E.U. objective of reducing the number of deaths by half from 2001-2010 one year early. As of 2003, the age group that has experienced a significant decline (in road deaths) is the 15- to 24-year old segment, with a decrease of 64.6%, followed by the 25- to 34-year-old population, with a 56.3% decrease.
INCREASING AWARENESS AMONG DRIVERS
Another encouraging piece of data confirming that habits are changing is found in a survey conducted in Summer 2009 by Quota Research; the survey shows that the non-alcoholic variety has become a beverage regularly consumed by drivers:
·: More than half of Spanish consumers state that they have opted for non-alcoholic beer at some point prior to driving. .: 8 out of every 10 Spaniards consider non-alcoholic beer to be a good option when driving.
The study “Consumo de bebidas y conducción: cerveza SIN alcohol y evolución de los hábitos de los conductores” [Alcohol Consumption and Driving: Alcohol-free Beer and Changes in Drivers’ Habits], conducted in 2007 by the Faculty of Psychology at the Complutense University in Madrid on a sample of 2000 people, confirms the change in drivers’ habits:
.:Consumers of traditional beer exhibit the greatest change in driving habits; 26% of drivers who consume traditional beer state that they consume more non-alcoholic beer than they did five years ago
.:21% of drivers state that they drink more non-alcoholic beer than they did five years ago
.:Furthermore, 84% of drivers never consume alcoholic beverages if they plan to drive long distances (compared to 22% in 2003)
Most respondents in this study believe that awareness campaigns aimed at drivers are influencing changes in alcoholic beverage consumption habits and that, little by little, awareness of the incompatibility of alcohol and driving is increasingly present in the minds of drivers.
The DGT has awarded the 10th edition of the campaign the Medalla del Mérito a la Seguridad Vial [Medal for Road Safety Excellence] in recognition of the work carried out in the past 10 years on road awareness and education.
In 2004, Cerveceros de España became a signatory to the European Road Safety Charter, at the invitation of the Vice-President of the European Commission, Loyola de Palacio, becoming one of the first signatories of this initiative of the European Commission, which was created with the objective of saving 25,000 lives on European roads by 2010.
The pledges of the first signatories were signed at an official ceremony in Dublin attended by Pat Cox, President of the European Parliament, Ari Vatamen, European Member of Parliament and Seamus Brennan, President of the Transport Council of Ministers.
Also noteworthy is the yearly European recognition given to Spain in 2009 by the NGO for the Prevention of Traffic Accidents], European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), for its success in road safety, in which the role of La carretera te pide SIN, along with campaigns launched by the DGT, were emphasised.
La carretera te pide SIN also enjoys the support of the President of the Comisión no Permanente de Seguridad Vial y Prevención de Accidentes de Tráfico [Non-permanent Commission on Road Safety and Prevention of Traffic Accidents] of the Chamber of Deputies, Emilio Olabarría.
The strong institutional support received, which after ten years, continues to speak to the importance and effectiveness of this type of initiative. The variety and integrity of the entities collaborating throughout the campaign’s ten-year history also speak for themselves.