Students Against Dangerous Driving (SADD) had a record attendance from students in the Wellington region at their 2016 conference.

Students at the workshop held in Feilding

SADD aims to reduce the number of deaths on New Zealand Roads by educating and encouraging young New Zealanders to make safe decisions when stepping into a car. SADD is a youth-driven peer education programme – young people standing up for young people.

This year SADD, which originally started out as Students Against Driving Drunk, celebrates its 30th anniversary. In that time the number of teenage fatalities on New Zealand roads has dropped from 163 to 33 per year. SADD aspires for this number to be zero.

2016 SADD conference a success for Wellington region

100 students celebrating at the workshop in FeildingIn April, the charity hosted 3 conferences over the school holidays. The SADD conference held in Fielding had the highest rate of attendance across New Zealand, with almost 100 students taking part representing 45 schools from around the lower North Island. Funding from the Wellington Community Trust, allowed more students to attend from the Wellington area. Mark Cassidy, Chief Executive said, ‘We really congratulate SADD. They worked hard to increase the number of Wellington schools and students taking part in this important programme and it’s been a great success.’

SADD’s Fundraising Manager, Michelle Bouton, said ‘Receiving grants from funders, such as the Wellington Community Trust, means schools that haven’t recently been involved with SADD have a much better chance of getting started. This grant helped 2 students from Newlands College to attend and the school was in a position to then support a further 2 students financially. The students really enjoyed the conference and they’re looking forward to having SADD up and running in their school.’

Learning to make positive change

Over the 2 days of the conference, the students heard from guest speakers representing the Police, NZ Transport Agency, the AA Driving School and Caltex, and had visits from local road safety coordinators. Students were also given group challenges like planning what an ideal SADD programme would be in their school and thinking about what they believe SADD should be aiming to achieve in the next 5 years, which they presented on the last day of conference.

With the support of organisations and individuals such as the Wellington Community Trust, SADD can ensure their legacy is kept alive for 30 more years to come. Wellington Community Trust is supporting young New Zealanders to make a positive change on our roads.