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“Pubs and Clubs” Project – modifying risky alcohol-related on-road behaviours.

Healy, D, Cockfield, S, Mallick, J, Banfield, K

General

ACRS conference 2008

The nexus in Australia between alcohol and social occasions remains strong. Each year in Victoria an average of 50 drivers are killed who exceed the legal limit and many more road users are either killed or seriously injured as a result of drink driving. Information collected at breath test stations indicates that pubs and clubs are major generators of drink drivers on Victoria’s roads.

The paper describes a pilot project conducted by the Australian Drug Foundation (ADF) in collaboration with the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) (Mallick et al, 2007) in which a number of “high-risk” licensed premises, with the consent of their licensees, were subjected to a safety audit with a view to providing tailored advice to the licensee concerning changes that would produce a safer and more responsible environment in which social interactions could occur. The major findings of the audit together with the subsequent changes made to the hotels by the licensees will be described. The concept underpinning this approach is that shaping the environment and the cues it provides to the individual can provide a powerful means of helping to moderate high-risk behaviours such as drink-driving.

It is anticipated that this pilot will pave the way for an expanded demonstration of this approach that will be evaluated in terms of process and outcomes, including changes to the levels of road trauma and other incidents linked to alcohol use.