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Focus on safe driving for international students

Focus on safe driving for international students

April 28, 2004

International students in North Shore City are being educated about safe driving on New Zealand roads as part of a classroom campaign to improve their skills and on-road driving behaviour.

The 'Driving in NZ' video, which has been distributed to six local colleges and 10 language schools, aims to ensure that international students learn about New Zealand road rules, how to drive safely, and local driving conditions.

North Shore City and Auckland City councils funded the Study Auckland initiative, and North Shore City's road safety co-ordinator, Helen Whittal, helped with the content.

She says the $10,000 contribution, which covered a quarter of the total cost of the video and information package that goes with it, is a worthwhile investment.

"We have lots of international students in our city. This video will be of great value to the schools and their students because it gives them the basics and aims to improve their driving skills," says Ms Whittal.

"A lot of overseas students come here with little driving experience. We are focussing on local rules and good driving habits.

"It's also a requirement of the Ministry of Education's Code of Practice for schools to educate their students about driving laws and road safety. This new video tool aims to help them do that."

As well as the seven-minute video or DVD, the 'Driving in NZ' pack also contains a two-page worksheet, Land Transport Safety Authority fact sheets, and an information brochure on 'Practice', a free programme for students with their learner's licence. Information on the work sheets covers licences, road rules, fines and penalties - for example for not stopping at a red light - sharing the road, and what to do if you have an accident.

Northcote College Community English School, based in Birkenhead, is about to begin using the video in its conversation classes.

The school's student services officer, Chris Howe, says the video is a valuable resource for its 200 students.

"These visual tools are excellent. They really help give students a practical understanding of our rules and the road code," she says.


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