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Spreading The Sadd Message

News Release

31 March 2004

Spreading The Sadd Message

Close to 1000 students from over 200 schools from all over New Zealand have attended Students Against Driving Drunk (SADD) workshops this term, and taken the message back to their schools that it is not cool to drink and drive.

Chloe Johnston, national coordinator for SADD, says the workshops are currently being facilitated in over 30 centres around New Zealand and are aimed at students who are interested in promoting the "drive sober” message in their schools and communities.

“The response from schools and students so far has been fantastic, with about 80% of all schools invited sending along student representation”, she says.

“The SADD workshops cover what SADD is all about, how it works, planning for new activities and gives the students a chance to meet with others from around their region.”

Chloe Johnstone says the students attending the workshops are really motivated and are willing and able to make a difference with their peer group.

“Drive sober and party safe is what SADD is all about. It is all about students creating a high level of awareness about good driving habits and attitudes, and by doing so they are helping to keep each other safe.”

Chloe Johnstone says while young people have shown a gradual decline in drink drive statistics, there is still work to do. “The 15 – 24 age group is continually over represented in the road toll and SADD plays an important part in reducing the number of alcohol related crashes.”

SADD is a national non-profit organisation governed by the AA Driver Education Foundation. Foundation Chief Executive Peter Sheppard says, “peer influence and motivation from one’s own age group is a powerful weapon to use against teenage drink driving. Sometimes we underestimate that teenagers themselves are capable of finding solutions to these sorts of social issues”.

“Young people are taking a lead on this issue – and many of them could teach adult drivers a few lessons”, he concluded.

Ends

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