Italy is taking steps to reduce drunk driving incidents and accidents by testing a new program that offers free taxi rides to party-goers. The initiative, backed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Matteo Salvini, aims to increase road safety. The trial period, set to run until mid-September, has been launched at six night clubs across the country.
Motive of the Initiative:
This Initiative outlines that, individuals leaving nightclubs with the intention to drive home will undergo a breath analyser test. If their alcohol levels exceed legal limits for driving, they will be provided with a free taxi or shuttle ride to ensure their safe journey home.
Matteo Salvini introduced the initiative as a practical step to prevent accidents on the road. He emphasised that fines and drink-driving laws alone were insufficient to address the issue. The program was conceived after discussions with influencers and content creators in the road safety sector.
While the initiative has garnered support from various night entertainment venue associations in Italy, it has also faced criticism on social media. Some argue that the program might encourage excessive alcohol consumption.
According to data from 2019 published by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), nearly 8.7% of reported road collisions involving injuries in Italy were linked to drivers under the influence of alcohol. Salvini believes that involving everyone in preventive measures is crucial to addressing this issue and enhancing road safety.