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Youth seeking safer roads

SADD National Leader Kitty Riach in front of one of the door dressing competition entrants. PHOTOS/EMMA BROWN

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From the booze bus, a door dressing competition and road safety themed scavenger hunts, students and schools are creating greater awareness of road safety issues during Students Against Dangerous Driving SAFER September.

Students are hoping their campaigns will point out the importance of safe driving and have an impact on the greater community.

SADD charitable trust started over 30 years ago and is now in 75 per cent of secondary schools, reaching more than 220,000 young people every year.

SADD national leader Kitty Riach from St Matthew’s Collegiate in Masterton said she hopes the activities they have planned have a real impact.

“Safe road use is important all year round, but SAFER September is a great opportunity to have a really focused approach to promoting SADD’s key road safety messages at school and in the community,” Riach said.

At school they already have a door dressing competition under way, a cork board is to be put up with a hypothetical situation for students to respond too and they are also hoping to run an event with students wearing fatal vision goggles and trying to do an obstacle course to show how affected decisions can be.

SADD national leader James Graham, getting ready for events at Chanel College.

SADD national leader James Graham from Chanel College in Masterton said, “I think that SAFER September is an excellent opportunity for communities and colleges around the country to come together for a common passion, road safety.

“It is a good way to bring awareness to how severe road danger is and bring our peers together to lower these statistics and play our part.”

Graham has personal experience of the devastating impact of dangerous and drugged driving. His dad was once hit by a driver under the influence and had since developed epilepsy.

Graham said he has a committee of 18 at Chanel helping to run the events for the month.

A four-day scavenger hunt started yesterday which will be followed by a SADD expo on Friday, which will have police input.

He said the changes from Learner Licence to Restricted Licence gave some students a sense of freedom which led to risk taking behaviour.

“They put themselves and others at risk,” he said. “As long as we can help one person, or save one life, it’s worth it.”

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