Getting through to potential drunk drivers is tough – what haven’t we tried?
Television and radio PSAs, print ads, posters in bar bathrooms and police stations, slogans on coasters … as well as fines, suspensions, ignition interlocks and jail sentences. There’s no doubt the messages are out there.
But almost all of those are from authority figures – government, law enforcement, substance abuse experts, and newscasters. What if kids gave it a whirl? Would people listen?
Students Against Drinking and Driving (SADD) is on it. They are once again partnering with the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission to bring the sober driving message home – quite literally. Their campaign is supplying 60,000 paper bags to K-12 students in Alberta schools. Each student writes a personal message on the bag, which liquor stores will use for customers.
The rationale: people might not pay attention to standard messages about drunk drivers, but perhaps a personal message from a child – a child in one’s own town or city – might get through.
The campaign also turns the students’ attention to the problem of drinking and driving. Most of the kids have not encountered either directly, but they’ll learn early on that impaired driving is dangerous. Students are briefed on the issue as part of the campaign.
One of the designs will be picked to be reprinted on a million bags in the spring. But one look at the artwork being produced tells you they’re all winners. The kids’ enthusiasm, directness, talent and humour all come through in their designs, which are consistently delightful as well as thought-provoking.
And that might be the real key – this is one anti-DUI message that drinkers will be getting loud and clear.