In many European countries the consumption of legal and illegal drugs clearly contributes to the increasing number of health hazards experienced by young people. A major problem for the youth is driving under the influence of these drugs. The casualty figures for inexperienced young driving are overrepresented according to accidents statistics of European countries. Despite the existence of legal regulations, the consumption of alcohol and drugs is a frequent cause of vehicular-collisions leading to death, especially with young drivers.
The aim of the project is to inform young, novice drivers regarding the risks of alcohol and drugs in connection with road use. Young peer educators discuss with young driving students experiences of alcohol and drugs in connection with road use and develop strategies to avoid driving under the influence. The lessons are typically between 60 and 90 minutes long.
From 2006 to 2008 the PEER-project has been funded by the European Commission, Executive Agency for Health and Consumers under the name “Peer-Drive Clean!” and has been implemented in 10 European countries. These are Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain. Some of the partners of "PEER-Drive Clean!” are still going on with local, regional or national funded activities. The PEER-project at driving schools is currently conducted in several federal states in Germany, such as Berlin, Brandenburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, North-Rhine Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg and the free and hanseatic city of Hamburg.
In Germany in 2011, 7382 driving beginners have been exposed to the message of unimpaired driving in 746 lessons. In Italy (Villa Renata) 850 driving beginners in 90 driving school lessons, in Austria (Institut Suchtprävention pro mente) 590 driving beginners in 25 lessons have been reached and in the Netherlands (Responsible Young Drivers) 25 peer-units have been conducted. In Slovenia peer-units are already part of the obligatory regular training for young drivers 2 years after gaining the driving license.
Among these activities we also have special events such as a “Day of Road Safety Education” or "European Night without Accidents". The aim of these events is to raise young people´s awareness regarding road safety with a special focus on alcohol and drug consumption.