Preventing Drink Driving in Nigeria

Case study

Responsible drinking banner in Nigeria

The Drive Alcohol-Free (DAF) campaign has been running since November 2014 to prevent drink driving by targeting commercial vehicle drivers in Nigeria, particularly bus drivers, ‘okada’ and tricycle riders. The campaign, led by the Beer Sectoral Group (BSG) of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) was designed to increase awareness on the dangers of drinking and driving and to motivate behavioural change among drivers. The motoring public has differing opinions on what is safe in terms of alcohol consumption and driving – despite a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) law of 0.05mg. The DAF campaign also aimed to educate drivers on the legal BAC limit and increase knowledge of the effects of alcohol on persons who decide to drink and drive.

Major highways with high accident rates in 22 states were selected to run this campaign using the most common and effective channel for commercial drivers – billboards and radio. Tapping into the insight that commercial drivers have a closely knit family bond, a communication approach that focused on family bonding and avoiding unintended pain to themselves and their loved ones was utilised. Communication channels included billboards, radio and vehicle signage.

A campaign evaluation showed shifts in awareness and intentions and an early drop in accidents.

90% of respondents indicated they saw, read or heard about DAF. About 60% of the respondents, who initially did not mind drinking and driving, claimed to have changed their mind after the campaign. 84% of respondents also believed the campaign had contributed to the reduction in road accidents.

On average, six accidents occurred across these bus terminals per year. By December 2015, when the campaign was being evaluated, the number of accidents had dropped to 5 and it is expected to drop further given the campaign was only in its initial stages at that time.

One of the participants, Nnamdi Festus of the Eleme junction park, had this to say about the campaign:

Drink driving is a major issue for Nigerian law enforcement agencies.  Ensuring the public and commercial drivers have a clear understanding of the law and raising awareness of the impact drink drive has on families  is important to reducing its prevalence.