College students around New Zealand are being challenged to make safer choices on the road as part of this month’s Remember September campaign by Students Against Dangerous Driving (SADD).
Remember September will involve numerous road safety events being held at schools throughout New Zealand. “Road crashes harm more young people in New Zealand than anything else,” says SADD Chief Executive Anna Braidwood.
“Crashes kill about 60 15-24 year olds and injure 3000 more each year but SADD is determined to change that. Our students will be using the month to get other young people to really think about the choices they make on the road and the possible consequences of risky behaviour.”
Remember September aims to get young people talking through student driven events and activities in schools and communities across the country. Activity includes things like student vs teacher debates, themed amazing races, memorial balloon releases, student written plays and skits, guest speakers, short films, billboard designs, flash-mobs, and many other events to challenge young people to be safe drivers.
While SADD’s emphasis used to be solely on drink driving, it has now widened its focus to target the six highest risk areas for young drivers. These are having: sober drivers, safe speeds, no distractions, avoiding risk, driving to the conditions, and building experience.
Livi McCorkindale, one of SADD’s national student leaders from Lawrence Area School in Otago, says the wider focus is giving young people more knowledge to stay safe.
“We are the next generation of drivers, we are the newest ones on the road, we are the least experienced, so we need to be more aware of what we are doing and what is around us. We need to be supported and educated on what we need to do to stay safe while driving,” she says.
“Driving conversations are so important to have because they keep us aware and inform us on how to stay safe, and having them amongst friends helps us spread the word.”
Caltex is sponsoring Remember September and Caltex Public Affairs manager Jeremy Clarke says SADD is helping young people make safer, smarter choices about driving, which benefit their whole communities.
“Caltex’s number one priority is safety,” he says. “The actions that SADD are taking and the messages they are communicating align with our own values. We are very proud to be associated with SADD and help make Remember September a reality.”
The AA Driving School is also a sponsor of SADD, which is currently active in three-quarters of New Zealand secondary schools.