Be Safe Monaco: seeing young drinkers home safely
The charity provides a 100% free electric shuttle for the summer, to take young people home when they have had too much to drink.
This month’s article in our series about charities in the Principality and on the Riviera, focuses on Be Safe, created in 2007.
We all know it’s “drink OR drive”. And yet, according to data published by insurance companies and driving schools, there are an estimated 1000 alcohol-related road deaths per year in France .
An alarming figure that the French Road Safety authority is trying to reduce, thanks in particular to the “SAM” programme, which encourages people who are going out to designate a person who will remain sober for the drive back.
In Monaco, five friends decided to go even further ‘down that road’, by creating the Be Safe charity. Camille Gottlieb (President), Charlotte Marsan (Vice-President), Margaux Grundstein (Treasurer), Andréa Puzar and Laura Dias (joint Secretaries) founded the charity in 2017, after a tragic event: “One of our friends died at a party because of drunk driving,” says Laura Dias. “We saw there was a collective sense of frustration in our circle of friends and family, so we said to ourselves “we have to do something” and we decided to create this charity.”
However, even though the five young women definitely had the will, the way involved getting themselves better known, so that their actions would bear fruit. Fortunately, they were able to count on some heavy-duty support: “we are supported by the Prince’s Government, the National Council, the Town Hall, all the night-time venues and some private donors.”
An electric shuttle to get home safely
As well as administrative and financial support, Be Safe now has an electric shuttle, thanks to a donation. A free shuttle, designed to take young revellers home safely (in Monaco or neighbouring municipalities) this summer.
And with good reason: according to French Road Safety figures, one in three road accidents is due to alcohol consumption. All the more reason to be particularly vigilant during the summer season, with its share of parties and nightclub outings.
“The shuttle is on the Port Hercule, close to the night-time venues,” explains Laura Dias. “If a young person needs it, the shuttle bus is on site from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. If some people are in other venues, like Jimmy’z or Sass, they have our direct phone numbers and can call us. All our contact details are on our website. (…) Free breathalyser kits have also been provided to the nightclubs in Monaco. Our goal is for young people who drink to have the reflex to test themselves before driving.”
LIRE AUSSI : Drink driving: the never-ending battle in Monaco
Education and raising awareness
A reflex that isn’t necessarily a given when you are already under the influence of alcohol. This is why Be Safe has also carried out a prevention campaign in the night-time venues: “we organised a meeting with the managers and we explained to them that even if alcohol consumption is very good for business, they don’t know what might happen afterwards. (…) We’re also going to try to organise prevention activities in schools in September to raise awareness about drink-driving among young people.”
The other aim for Be Safe is therefore to make themselves known to young people and their families, so that they know before they go out that this solution is available to them. And for now, the young women are pretty optimistic.
Because while the Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to the charity’s activities in 2020 and 2021, it seems that the system proved itself in the summer of 2019. Camille Gottlieb, told Monaco Info that 270 young people had been taken home safely thanks to Be Safe that year.
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How to help
You can support Be Safe in its efforts through online donations. Alternatively cheques can be sent to 74 Boulevard d ‘Italie – Sun Office, 98000 Monaco. These donations will make it possible to carry out further prevention initiatives, such as making more shuttles and breathalyser tests available at night clubs.
You can also get fully involved in the charity by becoming a volunteer – email email@example.com.