BOP students going phone-free for 48 hours

Bay of Plenty students going phone-free for 48 hours to highlight dangers of phone use while driving.

Bay of Plenty students are joining a nationwide call to go 48 hours phone-free next week to raise awareness of the dangers of using a phone while driving.

Students taking part in SADD (Students Against Dangerous Driving)’s Phone Free 48 campaign starting May 27 aim to show going without your phone for small amounts of your day won’t harm you, but using your phone while driving might.

Aquinas College student and SADD National Leader Fergus Lellman is one of many Bay of Plenty students putting his phone down.

“While for those a little longer in the tooth going 48 hours phone-free sounds like an easy feat, it is a great way for students like myself to see how dependent we are on our phones and how much it affects our driving,” Fergus says.

SADD National Manager Donna Govorko says the message is not getting through to drivers that distracted driving is dangerous, and SADD students want to change that.

“It’s not easy for some teenagers to be without their phones, but these students are really committed to highlighting the dangers that come with the distraction of phone use on our roads.

“SADD is a peer-to-peer education programme, so it’s massively important that the safer driving messages give a youth perspective. Students told us how they wanted to make a difference and enable all road users of all age groups to do the same. It’s a privilege to make that happen and witness the genius of Kiwi youth at work.”

Crashes involving young drivers on learner and restricted licences have risen by 74 per cent since 2013 (compared with an overall increase of 40 per cent or the whole population).

Young learner and restricted licence holders account for around one in 7 fatal or serious injury crashes.

SADD charitable trust is still going strong more than 30 years after it launched in New Zealand, and has a presence in 75 per cent of secondary schools, reaching more than 220,000 young people every year.

SADD delivers against its vision through its student National Leader Programme and its larger student membership.

SADD works closely with New Zealand Transport Agency, New Zealand Police and New Zealand Automobile Association as well as maintaining strong links with local authorities.

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