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PEER-education-project for young drivers to prevent alcohol and drugs in connection with road use - Drive Clean! - [ Peer Drive Clean] [2005315] - Project
General objectives

The aim of PEER-Drive Clean! is to sensitize youths and young adults between 18 and 24 years old to the dangers of alcohol and drug use and to achieve a modification of the eventual high risk drug use of the target group at an early stage. Peer-Drive Clean! will make clear to the youths and young adults the incompatibility of alcohol/drug use and the road use with the help of creative messages. PEER-Drive Clean! takes advantage of the young person’s high motivation for driving. The target group should be convinced through face-to-face actions of PEER educators to abandon the consume of intoxicating substances while driving a motorized vehicle. These personal communication actions will be designed in such a way that the target group will be personally reached through an orientation towards personal experiences. The message will be: Zero tolerance on alcohol - "Drive Clean!" The Programme PEER-Drive Clean! will include the setting up of an European discussion forum about the existing prevention offers for young people with the priority "alcohol, drugs and road use", using the peer education approach as well. In this forum, information will come together about how serious the problem of "alcohol and drugs in connection with road use" in the model regions is and which preventive approaches are currently being used. The project partners will exchange existing prevention approaches and their experience about which methods and procedures have proved to be successful in the drug use prevention and traffic education. The positive experiences that have been collected through the "PEER-Projekt an Fahrschulen" (PEER project in driving schools) in Germany will be useful for the model regions. In these regions, multidisciplinary networking between agents of health promotion, drug use prevention, traffic, protection of young people and police will be encouraged. Through PEER-Education- Actions the youths and the young adults (driver learners and beginners) will be educated about risk situations, backgrounds of accident causes and the problem of alcohol/drugs in connection with road use. The target group will be encouraged to analyze the own way of dealing with the problem of drugs and eventually to modify it. The setting up of PEER-Education-projects will be documented and evaluated. It is expected that the PEER-Drive Clean! actions will offer new insight about effective messages for the drug prevention strategies for young persons. The programme will identify Best-Practice-approaches for the prevention work with young persons with different lifestyles.

Strategic relevance and contribution to the public health programme

it is expected that the PEER-Drive Clean actions will provide new insight about effective messages for the drug use prevention of young persons. The programme will produce Best-Practice-methods that will be useful for the prevention work with young persons with different lifestyles.The project will take care of their public relations informing the model regions about the "PEER- Drive Clean", supporting this way the sensitisation of the general public to the problem of the influence of alcohol and drugs on traffic accidents.

Methods and means

Not all the young persons are at risk of drunk driving. An early identification of youths who are possibly at risk is impossible. Existing training and sanctions are designed mostly for drunk drivers and are used only after an offence. The PEER-education approach that has already proven to be successful in the fields of drugs and AIDS prevention will be used to handle the problem "alcohol in connection with road use" before a driving license has been issued, that means on the threshold of becoming an active motorized member of road use. For the majority of young people the driving school is the first educational measure that is linked to a financial burden, nevertheless the youths try to become a driving license as soon as possible. This high motivation to get the license on a voluntary basis can be used by the PEER-project. In the time of the driving lessons PEER education measures will take place, in which young drivers from the region (PEER educators) together with the driving learners discuss about the problem “alcohol, drugs and road use. It can be assumed that most of the 18 to 24 years old learners have had experiences already with alcohol and eventually with illegal drugs. The already driving PEER educators are also confronted with the matter and need to be able to handle it to avoid conflicts. An identification of young people at risk is not necessary, because every person that wants to take an active part in road use needs to have gone through driving education. In these institutions youths of all lifestyles are represented, so that in moderated discussion all points of view can be taken into account. Together with the driving learners individual and practical strategies as well as rules for the road use will be developed. In contrast as they would with adults (teachers, police, driving teacher, traffic educators, etc.), in this PEER lessons the learners can open up and speak about delicate matters, such as the own drug use or that of friends. The deliberate addressing of these topics coming from same aged peers intensifies the perception of the problem and allows the expectation of a high acceptance from the addressees. If the PEER lessons take place regularly with new driving learners in the partner driving schools, many young people can be reached through the PEER-Drive Clean! concept.

Expected outcomes period

Work package 1: Coordination of the project Work package 2: Dissemination of the results Work package 3: Evaluation of the project Work package 4: Regional Need Assessment (RAR) Work package 5: Piloting of PEER education measures Work package 6: Best practice Handbook

Start date: 01/01/2006
End date: 01/01/2009
Duration: 36 month(s)
Current status: Finalised
Programme title: First Programme of Community action in the field of public health (2003-2008)
EC Contribution: € 674 883,24