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SADD getting the message across

SADD getting the message across

Sadd (Students Against Driving Drunk) Function For Sadd Awareness Week, Wednesday, September 10, 1pm, Beehive Foyer

I would like to congratulate Students Against Driving Drunk for the excellent work they do around the country in promoting alternatives to drink driving that is undoubtedly saving lives.

And I thank you all for attending here today to help SADD get the message across that drinking and driving is not on.

I would also like to thank everyone who helped the first ever SADD Awareness Week get off the ground. It is a very important event in raising awareness of drink driving and I hope it will become an annual event.

Most importantly, I am sure events like this will do a lot to raise people's awareness of the work SADD is doing, and will hopefully get many more parents and young people to sign up to Will to Live contracts during the week.

Under the contract, young people promise not to drive after drinking, or accept a lift from a drunk driver, while parents promise to collect a young person if called, any time or place, or arrange safe, sober transport home.

As a parent of teenage children, and as someone who is not so old that they can't remember what it is like to be a teenager myself, that's a concept I wholeheartedly support.

I encourage any of you here today who are parents of young people to take the opportunity to pick up a Will to Live contract to take home to your children and hopefully sign up to with them.

SADD is run by young people in their own schools and communities, making it their message for their friends, in their language. It is not anti-alcohol, but encourages responsible drinking, taking responsibility for yourself and your mates, and not mixing drinking with driving.

SADD's work is hugely beneficial because it creates a shift in culture in young people's own peer groups and communities. Without that culture shift, behaviours will not change.

That message does seem to be getting through and drink driving is becoming more and more socially unacceptable.

However there is still a long way to go, and it was disturbing to read new figures from the Land Transport Safety Authority that show that speeding and/or drinking drivers are still the biggest danger on our roads

Almost half of all road accidents that leave people injured or dead are caused by drink drivers.

That sobering message demonstrates how important it is for SADD to continue to fight against drink drivers, and I wish them every success.

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