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Taranaki Offenders Get Road Safety Message

For Immediate Release Tuesday 24 June 2014

Taranaki Offenders Get Road Safety Message

Whanganui/Taranaki Community Corrections partnered with emergency services, road safety agencies and a funeral director to deliver an innovative road safety programme to 60 community-based offenders at Bell Block in New Plymouth on Saturday 21 June.

The offenders, from New Plymouth and Hawera, attended as part of their community-based sentence or order, under the Work and Living Skills programme.

Many of those who attended are serving or have served a sentence for driving offences.

Coralea Easther, Corrections’ District Manager, says “The programme aims to educate people in relation to risk-taking and road safety. If they understand risk, they will appreciate the consequences their actions may have. It also aims to empower them to make the right decisions in the future.”

Offenders took part in the following activities:

• experiencing a seatbelt simulator stopping suddenly

• seeing how to extinguish a kitchen fire from NZ Fire Service – and why it’s not a good idea to drink and fry

• navigating an obstacle course while wearing Fatal Vision goggles that simulate being under the influence of alcohol or drugs

• hearing from Eagars Funeral Service about their involvement following a fatal car crash

• learning from Police about taking risks and legally/illegally modifying cars

• climbing an eight metre high rock wall that uses skills related to safe driving: peer pressure, thinking ahead, concentrating and using restraints

• testing a driveway run over kit

• simulating accident scenes and learning basic first aid to use in emergency situations

• watching Just Another Saturday Night DVD (Jared’s story about becoming a tetraplegic following a high speed car crash that killed his brother and an another passenger)

• seeing the Fire Service perform a rescue from a mock car crash.

Feedback from offenders was positive, with John*, saying “I’ve learned a lot about accidents and the consequences of drinking and driving”. William* said it was “good learning about child restraints”.

“Corrections is committed to reducing re-offending by 25% by 2017. By getting offenders to participate in programmes such as this, it’s encouraging them to weigh up risks and make sensible decisions that will help them to lead an offence-free life,” Ms Easther said.

The day was organised by Corrections and Roadsafe Taranaki. Agencies and organisations involved were: Police, Fire Service, St John, New Plymouth Injury Safe, Roadsafe Hawke's Bay, Horizons Regional Council, Eagars Funeral Services, New Plymouth Girls' High School Students Against Dangerous Driving, RockUp Adventure Activities and Pacific International Hotel Management School.

Corrections manages offenders to hold them to account to comply with their sentences and orders, reduce their likelihood of re-offending, minimise their risk to others, and help them become productive and contributing members of society.

*Not his real name


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