SADD challenges Kiwis this weekend
Students Against Dangerous Driving - SADD is calling for a collective Kiwi response to change the course of a dismal 40 year record.
From 1980 to 2020, there has been only one Queen’s Birthday weekend, in 2013, that has finished with no fatalities on New Zealand roads.
“It’s down to all of us to make the changes necessary to alter this unenviable record,” says SADD National Manager Donna Govorko.
“While it is a public holiday, it’s not comparable to Easter or summer holiday periods so it is a good time to start to put words into actions and drive like we want to arrive home.
“We are already on the Road to Zero and we want to see a marked change in the number of people who are killed or injured on our roads every year.
“Queen’s Birthday weekend is the last public holiday until October and we will soon have the shortest day behind us. Rushing to get somewhere in the winter weather can mean you won’t get there at all. Simple things like ensuring that you and your passengers wear seat belts can make a significant difference to the outcome if something happens.”
Maddison Smith. Photo: Supplied.
Maddie Smith, a year 12 SADD student at Inglewood High School in New Plymouth, says life isn’t a race.
“There’s no need to speed to get to your long weekend holiday destination,” says Maddie.
“Live in the present moment, stick to the speed limits, focus and drive to the winter road conditions to keep yourself and other road users safe this Queen’s Birthday. Share the Aroha, do the Mahi and make sure everyone in Aotearoa gets home safe!”
Sun Yi-Tao. Photo: Supplied.
SADD National Leader Sun Yi-Tao, a year 13 student at St Kevin’s College in Oamaru agrees.
“Going into Queen's Birthday Weekend, we want to unwind, relax and do the things Kiwis do,” says Sun. “We don’t want this to come at a cost.
"There will be an end to this long weekend but there are others to enjoy. Let's not do anything we can regret tomorrow, and instead focus on today, making sure we all say no to distractions and stay focused on our driving, allowing us to safely go back to our lives with the people who love and care about us."
Derryn Fleming. Photo: Supplied.
Derryn Fleming, a year 12 SADD student at Sacred Heart Girls’ College in New Plymouth, says everyone wants to get back home.
“There will be a lot of traffic on the road this long weekend, so keep to a safe speed while driving,” says Derryn. “You’ll be keeping yourself and others safe. We all want to get back home.”