SBL launches new initiative to tame impaired driving

Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL) is implementing a project dubbed ‘Wrong Side of the Road’ which is a new interactive e-learning experience to change attitudes toward drinking and driving in Tanzania.

Developed in partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), Wrong Side of the Road is a virtual learning experience that starkly conveys to users the effects of alcohol and driving, as well as the stigma and consequences that result from deciding to drive while impaired.

SBL Corporate Relations Director John Wanyancha said in Dar es Salaam at the weekend that the initiative is a component of SBL’s mother company, Diageo’s global effort to change the attitudes of five million people by 2030 when they think about drinking and driving.”

He said the consequences of impaired driving are far-reaching and all too often extend well beyond ramifications for the offender.

Mr Wanyancha said the early estimates indicate impaired driving fatalities have increased sharply in the past year due to many factors – mental health concerns, a false sense of security due to less populated roads, speeding, and impaired driving.

SBL’s mother company Diageo has a long-standing commitment to promoting responsible drinking through moderation and addressing the harmful use of alcohol.

The company has a history of supporting global initiatives aimed at reducing traffic deaths and improving road safety.

He said Wrong Side of the Road presents a video where an impaired driver shares her impactful real-life story.

According to Wanyancha, the interactive tool allows participants to ask the real impaired driver increasingly raw questions about her decision and consequences such as ‘Did you feel pressure to drive?’, “What was going through your head?” and “How did your family react?” through what feels like a live conversation, but are, in fact, pre-recorded responses.

At the end of the experience, participants are shown a summary of their learning and directed to other online resources that can offer additional information and support.

“I know first-hand the harm of impaired driving and the ripple effects even one bad event can have on many, many people. It’s very hard to face the fact that you drive impaired,” said Aziza Manzi, a Dar es Salaam resident who is featured in the story included in the tool.

What’s incredible about this project is that you can ask questions you wouldn’t normally ask anyone, but do it privately and get real, personal responses back.

SBL’s tool will help reach people at scale to make better, more informed decisions that will ensure that people stay home or get home safely.

“We believe that a single crash caused by impaired driving is one too many. As a leading beverage alcohol company, it is our responsibility to create prevention tools to help save lives,” Wanyancha said.

He added, “With this new anti-impaired driving experience and programme, we continue to invest and innovate in our approach to further educate people and create awareness while stigmatizing irresponsible behaviour.

He said the new initiative and SBL’s latest responsible drinking initiative and part of an evolving approach that promotes changes in attitudes as a way of tackling impaired driving and supports the company’s 10-year sustainability action plan, Society 2030: Spirit of Progress.

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