More than 2,500 high school students from throughout Hawke’s Bay are receiving a powerful lesson in road safety this week.
The Hawke’s Bay Youth Road Safety Expo a partnership between RoadSafe Hawke’s Bay, Police, Fire and Emergency NZ, St John Ambulance and others to promote road safety.
The event aims to educate young people about the consequences of their actions on the roads says Hawke’s Bay Sergeant Simon Pain.
“The expo starts with a hard-hitting road safety presentation, which includes heart-breaking real life accounts of the aftermath of poor decisions on the roads, including a woman who’s grandmother was killed by someone texting while driving, and a mother whose teenage son was critically injured in a double fatality. The van of teenagers was being driven from a party by a 15 year old unlicenced driver who had been drinking.”
Sergeant Pain says it is incredibly powerful for the students to be able to hear real-life accounts.
“It is very brave of these families to come along and share their personal stories of loss and heartache. When the students hear these stories directly from the family affected it has a big impact on them.”
Students then walk through the expo, which is full of interactional activities, run by numerous stake holders that are both informative and educational. This includes information on getting a driver’s licence, first aid education, and a chance to see inside Eastern District’s brand-new Mobile Road Safety Base, which is used for deterring driving whilst impaired through drink and drugs.
Year 11 Napier Girls High School student Mia says what she heard and saw at the expo will stay with her.
“I will take away what I have heard today and will make better decisions from what I have learnt. I will remember these messages for the rest of my life.”
Tyler Howard, a year 11 student from Taradale High School, says the expo showed a lot about the results of drink driving, the dangers on the road, and how the results can affect the rest of your life.
Students are also given the chance to be breathalysed and attempt to walk in a straight line and get into a car while wearing special googles which simulate impaired vision.
Sergeant Pain says the expo aims to increase knowledge and build skills around road safety, with an overall goal of reducing road deaths and serious injury involving young drivers.
13 May 2021
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