Wellington Scoop

Students going phone-free for safe driving campaign

News from SADD
Wellington students are joining a nationwide call to go 48 hours phone-free next week to raise awareness of the dangers of using a phone while driving.

Students taking part in SADD (Students Against Dangerous Driving)’s Phone Free 48 campaign starting on Monday aim to show that going without your phone for small amounts of your day won’t harm you, but using your phone while driving might.

Newlands College student and SADD National Leader Nicole Singh is one of many Wellington students putting her phone down.

“Phone Free 48 is a campaign that not only promotes Kiwis to be safer on the road but also raises awareness of the risks involved in being distracted behind the wheel,” Nicole says.

“So let’s give it a go. Kia Kaha everyone!”

SADD National Manager Donna Govorko says the message is not getting through to drivers that distracted driving is dangerous, and SADD students want to change that.

“It’s not easy for some teenagers to be without their phones, but these students are really committed to highlighting the dangers that come with the distraction of phone use on our roads.

“SADD is a peer-to-peer education programme, so it’s massively important that the safer driving messages give a youth perspective. Students told us how they wanted to make a difference and enable all road users of all age groups to do the same. It’s a privilege to make that happen and witness the genius of Kiwi youth at work.”

Crashes involving young drivers on learner and restricted licences have risen by 74 per cent since 2013 (compared with an overall increase of 40 per cent or the whole population).

Young learner and restricted licence holders account for around one in 7 fatal or serious injury crashes.

SADD charitable trust is still going strong more than 30 years after it launched in New Zealand, and has a presence in 75% of secondary schools, reaching more than 220,000 young people every year.

SADD delivers against its vision through its student National Leader Programme and its larger student membership. SADD works closely with New Zealand Transport Agency, New Zealand Police and New Zealand Automobile Association as well as maintaining strong links with local authorities.