Keys Please Kiosk - FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation Grants
Byron Shire, on the NSW North Coast, has an image of a party town, with many young people choosing the area for their annual schoolies break and New Year’s celebrations. The result is the community is constantly exposed to the effects of alcohol and drugs, the lack of public transport options results in many young people choosing unsafe transport options.
In the five years from 2005-2010, there were 1,367 crashes involving 17-20 year olds. Alcohol was a contributing factor in 8% of these - 110 crashes. From these crashes there were 81 deaths, double the NSW average. Almost one third of year ten students have experienced loss associated with car crashes. The community has held forums on the issue that have been standing room only.
With a grant from the FRRR ABC Heywire Youth Innovation grants program, the Keys Pleae Kiosk was created to support safe celebrations: event goers leave their car keys with the kiosk volunteers, enjoy the festival or event and when they return for their keys they are encouraged to do a free, voluntary breath test. If they blow over the legal limit, the volunteers then help them to find alternative transport home.
A media release from the organisers, STEER youth safe transport project, says the kiosk directly addresses the lack of safe transport options in the Byron Shire, resulting in many young people getting themselves in unsafe transport situations. In the driving seat is coordinator, Phil Preston, who says it’s critical to connect with people at the coal face, when the decisions about drinking are being made, and being part of that decision.
The Kiosk has been rolled out at several events, and a 'mobile' option is now available, which people can hire for private events.
To see more about this story and how it engaged young people in the community, watch this short video.