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What’s the rush? Slow down to keep kids safe

The students and co-ordinators of SADD Wairarapa at a symposium. PHOTO/FILE

For the final instalment of Students Against Dangerous Driving’s [SADD] SAFER September column, the rangatahi of SADD Wairarapa have a simple message for local drivers – slow down.

A message to Wairarapa motorists from your SADD/Kaitiaki o ara crew. The speed you drive affects all road users – drivers, pedestrians and cyclists alike.

In 2018, speed was a factor in almost 50 per cent of fatal and injury crashes involving a driver under 25. Speed has been a factor in over 25,000 crashes since 2014.

The faster you go, the less time you have to react – and the longer it takes to stop.

Children are most at risk, especially when walking and cycling to and from school. Many parents would like their kids to get to school independently but are understandably concerned about fast-moving traffic.

Schools have signs to indicate a slower speed [40kmh] during those peak times. Most drivers are considerate and look out for us and wave when we cross the road but we still see drivers breaching the speed limit when passing our schools. It’s not okay.

We live in a culture of moving fast, overtaking, and thinking “she’ll be right”. But it’s important to remember: Just a five per cent reduction in your speed is equal to a 10 per cent decrease in crashes.

What’s the rush? There is no rush. You may not have your own kids, but please – look out for us.

Join the movement. Get in touch with your SADD/Kaitiaki o Ara representatives or follow us on Facebook – search “Wairarapa SADD Group”. You can also go to the sadd.org.nz website and subscribe to our newsletters.

It takes everyone to get to no one.

Erin Kavanagh-Hall
Erin Kavanagh-Hall
Erin Kavanagh-Hall is the editor of the Wairarapa Midweek. She has been a journalist for the past 10 years, and has a keen interest in arts, culture, social issues, and community justice.

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