Making good choices can prevent accidents

Thursday 7 July 2011, 8:01AM
By Porirua City Council


An initiative from the Porirua Community is aimed at young drivers, helping them to make good choices , based on the flow on impact following a bad fatal motor car crash in Pauatahanui last year.

Making good choices in life is the theme of a new dvd which has been produced locally for youth driver education, based on the accident on Gray Road, Pauatahanui, in July, 2009, when a car spun and hit an oncoming car, subsequently leaving the road and finishing up upside down in the harbour. Two young passengers were killed, and three other people were seriously injured in the oncoming car.

The dvd features Brent and Christine Laurenson , the parents of Nathan Laurenson, one of those killed in the accident; Melissa Lind, Nathan’s girlfriend, and two of his mates speaking of their feelings as the consequences of the accident sunk in, and the impact it has had on their lives. It has been prepared with funding from Porirua City Council, as part of the council’s road safety project budget, and is stage one of a series of resource materials for secondary students as they begin their driving careers.

Last week the dvd was critically assessed by students at Mana College Services Academy as a focus group, and this week it has been viewed by students from Aotea College and Mana College, before final editing. The programme will be launched on July 12 with a function in Pataka, in Porirua.

Mark Kairua, Road Safety Co-ordinator at Porirua City Council said that the programme is aimed at helping young people to make good choices about a range of social issues, not just in driving and speaking out if they are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable in their situation.

“There is a lot more mana to be gained in speaking out if you think your mates are travelling too fast or driving in an unsafe fashion,” he told students at the Mana College focus group.

“ Getting into a car with your mates to go for a night out on the town is not necessarily bad, if you do the planning – deciding who is the sober driver, how you are getting home, and looking out for each other. Getting into a car and doing 174 kph on the straight between Tawa and Porirua is just not cool. It is all about making good decisions, and understanding the consequences of those decisions.”

The dvd is called ‘Ripple Effect’, reflecting the ripple impacts which a single event can have across friends, families and the community.

“So many people were effected by that horrendous crash,” Mark said. “The lessons learned from that experienc e have to be shared and used as a teaching resource among our youth. We need to educate our young drivers to make sure these crashes do not occur, because this truly was a crash which didn’t need to happen.”

The dvd was produced by a Porirua company, Rainbow Creative Ltd, and was created by independent filmmaker, Anthony Johnson, of Pukerua Bay. It has been funded by Porirua City Council through their road safety budget. Partners Porirua are using this dvd as part of their Drive Safe initiative in the local community.