18 Dec 2019

Barcelona City Council and the Abertis Foundation launch the ‘El Apagón’ campaign to raise awareness among young drivers of the dangers of drinking and driving this Christmas

Barcelona City Council and the Abertis Foundation launch the ‘El Apagón’ campaign to raise awareness among young drivers of the dangers of drinking and driving this Christmas

  • The campaign features a real account of a fatal accident caused by drink-driving and will be shown at the Wolf, Sala Apolo, Club Twenties, Sutton and Legend Club nightclubs in Barcelona, running from 14 to 28 December.   
  • The aim is to make the initiative an impactful, shocking and viral event and to raise awareness of the risks of driving after consuming alcohol or drugs over the Christmas period.

Albert Batlle, deputy mayor for Prevention and Safety at Barcelona City Council; Georgina Flamme, manager of the Abertis Foundation, and Gemma Tarafa, councillor for Health, Aging and Care, have today unveiled ‘El Apagón’ (‘The Blackout’), a campaign to heighten awareness of the dangers of driving after having consumed alcohol or drugs. The initiative is aimed mainly at young people who hit the town over the Christmas period.

The campaign got under way last Saturday (14 December) at the Sala Wolf nightclub in Poblenou. Late night Saturday and moving into the early hours of Sunday, the nightclub turned off the lights to show a video featuring a person who was sent to prison for causing a fatal accident while drunk at the wheel. The reactions of club-goers before, during and after the lights-out were recorded to create a piece that will go viral on the social networks.

Aside from Sala Wolf, the campaign will run at Sala Apolo, Club Twenties, Sutton and Legend Club from 14 to 28 December.

Designed and created by young people, and to be made viral through the social networks, the campaign stars those same young protagonists, showing their emotions and reactions over the rest of the night after seeing the video.

The Abertis Foundation has already staged this campaign on previous occasions in Barcelona and in other cities, including Madrid, Valencia, Salamanca, Ibiza Town, Verona and Santiago de Chile. Successive editions of the event have been viewed by over 10 million social network users and have attracted close to one million views on YouTube.

Road safety program

This campaign is one of the many activities rolled out by the Abertis Foundation to promote more sustainable, safe and innovative mobility. As a leading company in toll road management, road safety is a key priority for both Abertis and its Foundation.

The Abertis Group has a strategic ‘Road Safety’ program in place, which combines the company's extensive knowledge and experience in ensuring the safety of its toll roads with its track record in launching initiatives to educate and raise awareness among children and young adults. This campaign can be added to other innovative initiatives of Abertis, such as its worldwide partnership with UNICEF to improve the road safety of children when heading to school each day.

The aim of the City Council is to continue working to reduce the accident rate

One of the most important commitments of Barcelona City Council is to continue working with the fundamental objective of reducing accidents and improving road safety in the city.

For this reason, the new Local Road Safety Plan (PLSV by its Spanish initials) has been provided, which aims to work on pacifying traffic for the benefit of coexistence and to ensure the proper use of public space and respect for traffic rules and speed limits.

One of the main blocks of intervention of the Local Road Safety Plan is the one that makes reference to the educational, training and informative actions related to the improvement of road safety. This block includes prevention projects and actions to reduce accidents and road accident victims; training sessions and workshops on road safety and communication actions to highlight the importance of road safety. Actions to help generate knowledge and intelligence in accident problems are also carried out.

The PLSV also works on measures to correct conducts that endanger road safety. The effectiveness of road safety policies largely depends on the intensity of surveillance and compliance with safety requirements. Control campaigns remain a key factor in creating the conditions for a significant reduction in the number of deaths and injuries.

The causes of accidents are related to behaviors that represent a risk to traffic. In this sense, the Guardia Urbana has as one of its main functions to guarantee road safety, detecting behaviors that may cause an accident in order to prevent them and reduce the number of victims in accidents.

High risk consumption of alcohol in Barcelona

According to the Barcelona Health Survey made by the Barcelona Public Health Agency (ASPB by its Spanish initials), 9% of men and 4.2% of women living in the city make a high risk consumption of alcohol. This high risk consumption is more common among young people, who are between the ages of 15 and 24 (16.1% of men and 10.7% of women). Other indicators reinforce this tendency, as the fact that 5.7% of second year students of secondary school admit to have been drunk sometime in the last six months and that among high school or advanced degrees students this percentage expands to 56.5%, according to the latest FRESC survey, also made by Barcelona City Council.

In fact, alcohol is the substance that year after year generates more treatment at the drug dependence Care Centers (CAS by its Spanish initials) in Barcelona. Specifically, in 2018, it led to 1,391 treatments in men and 583 in women, a quantity that has remained fairly stable in recent years. All in all, the ASPB maintains several programs for the prevention of alcohol consumption both at school and community environments to raise awareness among the population, as well as implementing healthy leisure programs through sociocultural and sports activities.

The Abertis Foundation

The Abertis Foundation was created in 1999 as a non-profit organization, with the objective of responding to the impact that the economic activity of the Abertis Group has in the different territories and countries where the Group is present. The Foundation has always given priority to actions related to road safety, environment and social action, in line with the Strategic Plan for Social Responsibility of Abertis and the Abertis Group's commitment to road safety.