Belgian drunk drivers given keychains with names of children killed in traffic
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Belgian drunk drivers given keychains with names of children killed in traffic

Credit: Belga

People caught driving drunk in Belgium will receive a keychain with the name of a child killed in a road accident, in a new campaign to warn against the effects of drinking and driving.

The campaign, set up by the Vias institute and the association Parents d’enfants victimes de la route (which translates to ‘Parents of children who were traffic victims) will launch on Friday to coincide with the “weekend without alcohol behind the wheel.”

“A driver involved in an alcohol-related accident has, on average, a blood level of 1.7%,” according to a statement issued on Thursday, “but it regularly happens that they have a lower blood alcohol level: every day, we record an accident where the driver had a level below 0.8%.”

Despite the Bob campaign, which has been rewarding sober drivers with a keychain for 25 years, Belgians still drink while driving. The new campaign therefore takes the opposite approach and addresses drivers under the influence of alcohol or drugs and offers them a “non-Bob” keychain.

Drivers are also immediately told the story behind the name on the keychain.

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“We hope that the confrontational non-Bob keychain will linger longer than the fine or driving ban,”  the two organisations said.

The keychain looks similar to the Bob keychain, but bears the name of a child victim of a drunk driver. A card distributed with the keychain tells the story of the victim.

If they wish, drivers can then exchange their keychain on this website for an online awareness course from Vias, which will inform them about the effects of alcohol on driving behaviour.

The Brussels Times