European Night Without Accidents
The European Night Without Accidents is an awareness campaign organised each year in nightclubs all over Europe on the 3rd Saturday of October. The goal is not to be repressive or to spread a negative message; on the contrary the volunteers have discussions with the group in order to find the most reasonable solution to arrive home safely.
The most important aim of the ENWA is to draw young peoples attention to the importance of responsible driving and to reduce the number of the accidents in which young people are involved.
In each nightclub, a team of youngsters welcomes drivers at the entrance and encourages them to take up a responsible attitude behind the wheel. The action takes place in two phases. First, the volunteers encourage each group to choose a designated driver who agrees to make a promise: he commits himself to remain sober when he drives. The volunteers ask them to wear a bracelet to be recognizable. When the designated drivers leave the nightclub, we give them the opportunity to undergo a breath analysis to check if they have honoured their commitment. If this is the case, the designated drivers are rewarded with small presents offered by our partners and sponsors. If this is not the case, we encourage the person to leave his/her car on the side or to hand the keys to a friend who did not drink alcohol. In a limited number of nightclubs the volunteers will also ask the drivers to undergo a drug test to show their friends that they are clean drivers.
In 2008, ENWA reached more than 10.000 European young people, who accepted to wear the recognizable bracelets and take part in the action. ENWA communication has started to cross the borders and the event is becoming more and more recognized by the nightclub population, who remember it from the previous year. In only one night, volunteers directly face and hold discussions with with 10.000 people, showing them that young people can also be responsible.
Efficient face to face communication is not easy to establish but is the best way to get a message across.
Disco owners, media
The method is to insist on the necessity of modifying drivers behaviour. It is the only way to obtain permanent results. In the long term, a positive approach of the problem gets better results.
Stands, posters, leaflets, breathalyzers, drug tests, bracelets and presents.
Number of participants, number of tests (negative and positive), number of volunteers involved, press coverage; the reactions of youngsters and feedback of volunteers.
12.000 youngsters, 220 nightclubs, 600 volunteers, 25 countries, 85% of designated drivers respected their commitment. According to partners' reports we can conclude the action was a success, it is recognised more and more by night clubbers. They really appreciate the initiative and most of them (depending on the countries) have already picked a designated driver before going out. More and more people want to introduce the event in their country.
- Strengths: Face to face communication; peer to peer communication; positive not repressive; easily implementable in other areas.
- Weaknesses: Not all youngsters participate in the action; volunteers leaving the club before the end of the party; too many youngsters leaving the disco at the same moment.
- Opportunities: Nightclubs are mainly visited by youngsters; we can talk to lots of youngsters at the same moment; draw the attention of the media.
- Threats: To be compared with the police; not to find enough volunteers; nightclub owners do not want to participate in the event.