Students Rally Against Dangerous Driving

September 03, 2015 at 4:16 PM

For the past week, the Students Against Dangerous Driving (SADD) Council has been educating their fellow students about ways to avoid becoming a road injury or death statistic. The Council was first formed at the College in 2011 and is growing in size and momentum every year. It is encouraging to see a group so passionate about keeping their peers safe in their vehicles and on the roads.

For this year’s SADD week, the Council organised a number of activities. On Monday, Constable Paul Evatt from the Police Serious Crash Unit spoke to the Senior School assembly. Along with a team of seven other officers, Mr Evatt investigates every serious crash in the area between Mangere Bridge and the Bombay Hills. A crash is deemed to be serious when there is a death or the likelihood of fatality. There are three factors which cause serious crashes: environment, vehicle and driver. Nine times out of ten the driver is responsible, through speed, alcohol, inattention, distraction or inexperience. Mr Evatt stressed to the students to use the time on their restricted licences wisely, gaining experience and knowledge so they know to react to hazardous situations while they are driving. He gave graphic descriptions of crashes he had attended involving drivers with restricted licences and reminded the audience of the penalties for breaking the conditions of the graduated driving system.

On Tuesday, students were invited to don ‘Impairment Goggles’ and attempt to navigate an obstacle course on foot in the gym. The goggles use special lens technology that allows the wearer to experience a realistic simulation of impairment. The students who accepted the challenge were visibly unsteady on their feet and consistently hit the obstacles lining the course. It was a vivid lesson in how impairment affects your coordination and motor skills.

Today, a photo booth was set up and students and teachers were invited to have their photo taken with cards that had messages pledging to be safe drivers while behind the wheel. It was a poignant conclusion to end the campaign highlighting the need to be aware of the dangers that irresponsible driver behaviour can pose. Thank you to the SADD Council for playing a major part in making our roads a safer place! 

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