Parkes Shire's watering holes promote Plan B campaign

DO YOU HAVE A PLAN B: Store Manager of Liquorland Parkes Lea Dickson has thrown her support behind the Plan B campaign. Photo: Submitted
DO YOU HAVE A PLAN B: Store Manager of Liquorland Parkes Lea Dickson has thrown her support behind the Plan B campaign. Photo: Submitted

Determined to do their bit to reduce drink driving across the Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Council areas, 57 pubs, clubs and bottle shops have joined forces to promote the Plan B campaign.

Plan B is a statewide initiative encouraging patrons to think about alternatives to driving home after a night out.

Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils' Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, said that 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," she said.

Alcohol related crashes claimed the lives of at least 64 people on NSW roads last year, accounting for 18 per cent of all road fatalities and included 52 lives lost on country roads.

During December, patrons at participating pubs, clubs and bottle shops are invited to enter a competition to win a swag valued at $250 by nominating a Plan B for getting home.

"Catch a cab, walk home or throw a swag out on a mate's floor - we don't mind what your Plan B is, so long as it's not driving home," Ms Suitor said.

"Every entry puts patrons in the running to win a swag - there is one available at every pub, club and bottle shop - 57 venues in total.

"The competition will be drawn on New Year's Eve. The prize reinforces the Plan B message that there's always an alternative to drink driving.

"Local radio station ROK-FM will also be promoting the Plan B message by giving away Plan B packs to callers who ring in with their Plan B for getting home safely.

"It's so good to see all of the pubs, clubs, bottle shops and the local radio station come on board and be part of this road safety initiative.

"They are all so enthusiastic and supportive. It's clearly something that's close to their hearts."

The promotion coincides with enhanced police enforcement, reminding drivers that RBT means you need a Plan B, especially following the introduction of tougher drink driving penalties earlier this year.

Since May 2019, drivers who commit a low range drink driving offence for the first time will have their licence suspended immediately, effective for three months. This will be coupled with a significant fine (currently $572).

A low range drink drive reading is a blood alcohol level between 0.05 and 0.079.

The reforms deliver swifter, consistent and more certain penalties for drink driving in NSW.

"When planning a night out we encourage patrons to think about a Plan B, but the best advice is to leave the car at home. That way there's no temptation to try to drive home," Ms Suitor said.

"A crash or drink driving charge would not make for a happy new year."