Conversations about having an alternate way to get home rather than driving after a few drinks, have been occurring in pubs, clubs and bottle shops across the Western Region of NSW for the past two months, as part of the annual Plan B Win a Swag promotion.
Licensed venues joined forces with local councils and Transport for NSW, to run the promotion which offers patrons the chance to win a swag valued at $250 by nominating what their Plan B to get home was.
The promotion was operational in 56 local venues across the Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils areas during December 2021 and January 2022. These venues joined more the 300 from across the region.
Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils' Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, said the feedback from venues and patrons has been very positive.
"Congratulations to all of the winners and thanks to everyone who took part in the promotion.
"The swags are definitely an attractive prize (being a Plan B themselves), but what's great is that people were having conversations about how to get home and thinking about separating drinking from driving.
"As the TV advertisement says, some Plan B's are better than others, so not surprisingly we received some great ones like getting a lift, catching a cab, using the courtesy bus, walking or staying at a friends place. We also got a lot of creative ones, like catching a hot air balloon, flying, being pushed in a wheel-barrow or tiptoeing through the tulips," Ms Suitor said.
There was also a radio competition on ROK-FM which asked listeners to call in with their Plan B's to win a pack containing a taxi voucher and t-shirt. All entries then went into the draw to win a swag.
Drink driving is one of the biggest causes of death and injury on NSW roads. Country people are at particular risk given the lack of public transport or other options for getting home. In the Western Region in the five years to 2020, 50 people were killed and 184 seriously injured in crashes where alcohol was a contributing factor.
"This year we extended the promotion into January to ensure the important message about not drinking and driving was top of mind after lengthy COVID lockdowns had eased allowing us to socialise again with friends and family.
"Venues reported that they received between 20 and 150 entries on average and were supportive of the additional four weeks the promotion was operational," Ms Suitor said.
Dianne Hutchins from Peak Hill Golf Club said that people need to be reminded about the dangers of drink driving.
"This promotion is great as it raises awareness and starts a conversation. I love the weird and wonderful answers some people come up with," Ms Hutchins said.
Ms Suitor said the promotion will back this December.