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Published: 2002-03-07 00:00:00

Waikato students from as far as Taupo will be meeting at Matamata later this month to get serious about the concept of Students Against Driving Drunk.

A two-day Waikato Regional Conference on March 14 and 15 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.

About 50 students will be attending the conference from secondary schools throughout the Waikato.

Organiser Sarah Kempson said the conference would be an action-packed event, combining team-building challenges with workshops to enable students to develop SADD activities in their school.

“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 accidents.”

Alcohol is the second most common cause of crashes in the Waikato Region, according to the 1995 – 1999 Land Transport Safety Authority Road Safety Report, the Last Drink Survey, conducted by Health Waikato, identified an increase in the number of youth apprehended for drink driving.

At the conference, students will be taking part in role-plays that help then to reach a safe resolution when solving problems associated with drinking and driving.

“The SADD concept recognises that some young people choose to drink and the aim of SADD is to reduce harm among students by promoting alternatives to drinking and driving through positive peer influences.

“We hope a regional conference will encourage youth to become peer educators within their schools by motivating the students to become passionate about the SADD concept,” she said.