24 November 2020, Geneva, Switzerland – UNITAR and Diageo, a global leader in the beverage industry, renew and expand their collaborative agreement to strengthen institutional capacity through training and efforts to change attitudes and behaviour to road safety laws and law enforcement.
The partnership, an expansion of their work to date, seeks to contribute to the Second Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, with a goal of reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by at least 50 per cent. The two organisations have committed to a joint target to promote changes in attitudes towards drink driving reaching 5 million people by 2030. It will build from the current flagship High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) training programme that supports government authorities and police officers to develop programmes that directly target road users.
Through this collaboration, UNITAR and Diageo will provide training and technical assistance to support governments in three areas: 1) the adoption of legislation on risk factors such as drinking of alcohol and driving, 2) the design of highly visible and publicized educational programmes aimed at reducing fatal driving crashes, and 3) training of law enforcement officers to conduct checkpoints to test blood alcohol concentration of drivers who are suspected to be driving under the influence of alcohol.
Between March and October 2020 and despite of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, government officials, law enforcement officers and road safety practitioners have participated in the UNITAR and Diageo flagship training programme on “High Visibility Enforcement (HVE)”, which has been offered online this year. Throughout this period of time, 587 beneficiaries from 69 countries worldwide have completed the online training courses available in English and Spanish. On 16 November 2020, the HVE training programme was made available in French for government authorities and police officers from Senegal. This is the first time the training is delivered in French, aiming to reach francophone countries in Africa. In 2021, the training programme will be available in additional languages, including Hindi.
“This training programme presents the High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) approach as an educational strategy to reduce drinking and driving. It aims to serve as a tool for government officials to help them design interventions that contribute to reduce the number of road traffic injuries and fatalities related to drivers using alcohol”, highlighted Mr. Nikhil Seth, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNITAR.
“Through this valuable partnership, we have implemented impactful interventions to empower law enforcement officers and other road safety professionals with specialized knowledge to be effective in improving road user behavior. In the next phase of our work with UNITAR, we will implement new programmes to reach road users directly, collaborating to change attitudes on the risks of drink driving, as well as expanding our work on High Visibility Enforcement (HVE)”, said Mrs. Kate Gibson, Global Director of Society, Diageo plc.
During the first phase of this partnership, 3,123 government officials, including law enforcement officers from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean have been trained, specifically on tackling drink driving.