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Published: 2001-03-12 00:00:00

Students from as far afield as Tuakau and Taupo meet at Matamata this week to get serious about the concept of Students Against Driving Drunk.

A two-day Waikato Regional Conference for Students Against Driving Drunk, (SADD) has been designed to help encourage teenagers to participate in SADD activities and to develop the SADD concept in schools.

Youth have become one of the highest risk groups on the roads, and particularly in the Waikato Region youth make up a very high proportion of casualties and injuries through road crashes. Alcohol is the second most common cause of crashes in the Region, according to the 1995-1999 Land Transport Safety Authority Road Safety Report.

About 50 students are attending the conference from secondary schools throughout the Waikato. The event is organised by Road Safety co-ordinators in conjunction with Public Health Promoters and Community Health.

The conference combines team-building challenges with workshops that enable students to develop SADD activities in their school. Students will be taking part in role plays that help them to reach a safe resolution in solving problems associated with drinking. The SADD concept recognises that some young people choose to drink and the aim is to reduce harm by promoting alternatives to drinking and driving through positive peer influences.

Road Safety co-ordinators and Public Health promoters hope to encourage youth to become peer educators within their schools by motivating students to become passionate about the SADD concept.

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