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Expo On At Thames Racecourse This Week

Expo On At Thames Racecourse This Week

Reducing alcohol, drug and speed related crashes involving young people in the Eastern Waikato is the driver behind a four day interactive expo being held at the Thames Racecourse this week.

The Drink Drive Expo is a Joint project with TCDC's Road Safety Co-ordinator Ingrid Lefevre, who has worked closely with all emergency services in the district to create a hard-hitting message that reaches teenagers.

The expo involves St John Ambulance, Fire Service, Westpac Auckland Air Ambulance, Victim Support, ACC, towing operators, funeral directors and Police staff, all demonstrating their roles to Year 11 students from around the Eastern Waikato.

"Known as the Drink, Drive, Die Expo, the event is being run alongside the New Zealand Students Against Drink Driving week and is aimed at Year 11 students because of the large number of young people dying on our roads," says Thames Youth Education Officer, Senior Constable Mary-Ann Kerr.

"Drink driving is a serious issue here in the Eastern Waikato with 38 teens dying on our roads in the last 10 years, 13 deaths in crashes were alcohol and/ or drugs were a factor. Nationally 985 teenagers were killed or injured in 194 over the same period in crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs."

Ms Kerr said last year 45 people died in 41 crashes on Waikato roads and of those, 12 aged 20-years-old or under lost their lives.

"Drivers aged 20-years or under were involved in seven crashes that cost 16 lives in the Waikato last year. Two of these fatal crashes involved alcohol, with one also involving drugs. These crashes claimed five lives while three of the seven involved speeds too high for the road or weather conditions.

"The reason we're specifically targeting Year 11 students is that they are the age group entering the driving phase of their lives and we need to change attitudes towards speeding, drugs and drinking and driving."

Ms Kerr said all of the agencies involved were committed to reducing serious and fatal crashes involving young people where alcohol/drugs and speed are contributing factors in Eastern Waikato Communities.

ENDS

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