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Student Ambassadors With A SADD Message

22 April 2002

Seven secondary school students were made ambassadors with the mission of promoting the dangers of driving drunk.

Minister of Youth Affairs, Hon Laila Harre, presented the students with the inaugural awards at Parliament today (subs Monday 22 April) designating them Students Against Driving Drunk, or SADD Ambassadors, for a year.

Ms Harre said that young people involved in SADD have long been doing excellent work in New Zealand schools, and the ambassador status is well deserved recognition of their contribution.

“These young people are doing an excellent job of making safe choices the easy ones for their peers, and the value of their work is justly recognised in the creation of this award.”

SADD is a non-profit national organisation governed by the Automobile Association’s Driver Education Foundation (AADEF).

Each year SADD reaches out to over 20,000 secondary students spreading its message about the dangers of young people driving drunk.

Rob Lester, AADEF chairman said the ambassador awards would encourage students with leadership potential to take a major role in their community to promote the message against driving after consuming alcohol.

Land Transport Safety Authority figures show that of the fatal crashes attributed to 15 – 24 year olds during 2000 and 2001, one third involved alcohol as a contributing factor.

“With 376,000 drivers in the 15 – 24 age group, many likely to be at secondary school or university, SADD has a vital role in halting the tragic waste of young lives through death and injury because of driving after consuming alcohol,” said Rob Lester.

SADD is a peer led organisation run by young people in their own schools and communities. It works closely with the LTSA, Road Safety Co-ordinators, Health Promotion Units and other related agencies.

Over the last ten years there has been a significant decrease in the rate of 15-24 year olds being involved in fatal or serious alcohol related crashes but this age group is still the most over represented in road crash statistics.

Approximately 65 percent of schools in New Zealand operate SADD programmes and a SADD team can number from 2 -200 pupils. These teams provide training opportunities for students such as workshops, conferences and in-school visits.

Each year SADD holds a national conference in Christchurch where about 170 school students attend and it is one of the most well received seminars. SADD receives constant positive support from parents and participants.


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