Why Did We Do It?
Burnie has a documented history of pedestrian accidents in the CBD and drink driving offences. Coupled with this is a record of anti-social behaviour including vandalism and assaults as well as an issue of the regular unavailability of taxis for late night revellers.
In an attempt to combat these issues through a road safety program the Burnie Community Road Safety Committee, with members from Burnie City Council, Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources (DIER), Tasmania Police, Neighbourhood Watch, RACT and the Safer Roads for Cyclists, conceived the concept of the Who's DES Tonight? Designated Driver Program.
Statistics highlight the success of the pilot program. It is reported that there has been in excess of a 50% decrease in drink driving offences in Burnie during the pilot program compared with the previous year. Coupled with this is an over 60% reduction in personal offences (assaults) in the CBD and almost a 30% reduction in vandalism in the CBD.
Anecdotal evidence shows that there has been an increased awareness of what it is to be a Designated Driver as well as what a Drink Walker is. There has also been increased safety within venues (DES acting as a crowd controller) and increased awareness of the dangers associated with late night revelling.