Quality level: 1
Especially for young people and young adults, drug consumption represents a clear, and in many European countries, an increasing health hazard. In this context, "alcohol behind the wheel" is a dramatic problem. The target group young people and young adults is also the focus of “addiction prevention” and “traffic safety”. But precisely the 15 to 24-year-olds are difficult to reach with prevention messages. With “PEER Drive Clean!" professional knowledge and resources from different fields (addiction prevention, health promotion, traffic safety) are bundled intelligently. In the course of "PEER Drive Clean!“ in the model regions, independent PEER education projects will follow, which will inform and enlighten young people and young adult driving school students and beginning drivers about the dangers of alcohol/drug consumption and driving. According to the European driving licence guideline, all drivers must pass an examination before they are issued a driving licence. Despite the comparatively high costs of driver education and testing, young people are highly motivated to receive their driving licence at the earliest possible point in time. In order to take advantage of this high motivation to learn, the independent partial projects of “PEER Drive Clean!” should be placed so that the target group is reached as close as possible time-wise (in the best case shortly before) to the granting of the driving licence. In 60 to 90-minute PEER lessons, trained PEER educators work with young people. Together with the driving students and beginning drivers, individual and manageable strategies and rules will be developed for their driving participation. Young drivers should thus be enabled to prevent dangerous driving while intoxicated.
The aim of PEER-Drive Clean! is to sensitize teenagers and young adults to the dangers of alcohol and drug consumption and where possible to modify potentially high-risk consumption amongst the target group at an early stage. PEER-Drive Clean! wants to use creative messages to make teenagers and young adults understand the incompatibility of alcohol and/or drug consumption with the driving of motorized vehicles. To do this, PEER-Drive Clean! utilizes the high motivation of young learner drivers. The aim is to convince the target group in personal talks with peer educators not to consume drugs or alcohol before or whilst driving a motorized vehicle. This form of personal approach has been developed so that the target group is reached on a personal level by exchanging the participants’ own experiences. The PEER-Drive Clean! programme also contains the development of a European discussion forum on the range of prevention possibilities already in existence for young people on the topic of “alcohol, drugs and driving”. In this forum, information is exchanged and collected on how serious the problem of “alcohol and drug consumption with regard to driving motorized vehicles” is in the pilot regions, and which prevention tools are already being utilized. The project partners have exchanged their views on the existing range of prevention approaches and on their experiences as to which methods and measures have proven successful in the field of drug prevention and road transport. The positive experiences collected under the “PEER project in driving schools” in Germany were made available for use in the pilot regions. A multidisciplinary network has been set up in these regions between representatives in the fields of health promotion, drug and addiction prevention, transport and policing. Peer-based education campaigns are used to inform teenagers and young adults (learner drivers and novice drivers) about risk situations, the background to the causes of accidents, and the problem of alcohol and/or drug consumption in connection with driving a motor vehicle. The target group should be encouraged to discuss and find their own ways of dealing with the problem, and to modify their behaviour if necessary. The development of peer-based education projects has been recorded and evaluated.
The “PEER-Drive Clean!” project was implemented successfully. All objectives laid down for the project were achieved or even exceeded. The project has shown that fruitful collaboration is possible between representatives from the domains of addiction prevention, health promotion and transport safety. Overlaps in function, interests and methods form sustainable synergies in the named sectors and in the communities. The common interest in the prevention of harmful alcohol and drug consumption and the prevention of transport accidents is “absolute sobriety”: i.e. no alcohol and no drug consumption before driving a motorised vehicle. In many regions, “PEER-Drive Clean!” has succeeded in setting up networks between institutions and facilities in the domains of transport safety, addiction prevention, policing and youth work which had not cooperated with one another before. In Belgium and Romania, existing networks were used in order to set up a regional project.In all other regions, new networks were set up. The success of the project is clearly visible in that all these newly set up networks function well and that “PEER-Drive Clean!” is to be carried forward. The stabilisation phase of the project (2007) proved how well “PEER-Drive Clean!” can be integrated into existing structures, and how successfully the projects cover the requirements of various sectors of prevention work. Those institutions already participating train peer educators on a regular basis and are in a position to expand “PEER-Drive Clean!” outside regional borders if further support is agreed. Three other institutions have adapted the concept of “PEER-Drive Clean!” and have initiated their own projects without support from the European Commission. These are Tannenhof Berlin/Brandenburg e.V., the Institut für Prävention (Institute for Prevention) in Linz, Austria, and the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe (Regional Authority of Westphalia-Lippe) in Germany. Further institutions in Europe have taken note of “PEER-Drive Clean!” and have agreed to collaborate within the scope of applications for “PEER-Drive Clean II”. These institutions are also planning the development of peer-based projects in driving schools for the prevention of alcohol and drugs in road transport. The data of the summarising evaluation shows that a certain amount of time and experience is required before a permanent number of peer-based units can be achieved. It was not determined in advance how many peer-based units were to be achieved within the scope of the project runtime, but internally one arrived at the figure of 50 peer-based units per region. This internal target of 50 peer-based units was achieved by almost all partners; only in Romania and in the Netherlands was the objective not reached. In all other countries, the internal target was achieved or even exceeded. The figures from Germany (MISTEL and Tannenhof) show in particular that the number of peer-based units increases in number as the level of practical experience increases. The feedback that the peer educators received from the target group is consistently good to very good. It is thanks to these young people that it was possible to start PEER-Drive Clean! in the first place and that it is still running. In total, 185 young people have been trained as peer educators. Due to “PEER-Drive Clean!” and in particular due to the efforts of the peer educators, the targets for health promotion and addiction prevention amongst the target group lie within reach and have become visible to the general public. The ingenious link between transport safety and addiction prevention has found wide-ranging acceptance in the pilot regions.
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