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Issue No. 374 October 2013

Saturday night story on world stage

Iain Cheyne talks through Just Another Saturday Night with an Australian colleague in Brisbane.
Photo: Warrington Photography, under licence

Just Another Saturday Night, a Hawke's Bay road safety and youth alcohol education campaign, took centre stage at Australasia's premier road safety conference.

Senior Constable Iain Cheyne, of the Strategic Traffic Unit in Napier, and Linda Anderson, Regional Manager, Road Safe Hawke's Bay, were among 400 people from around the world at the Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference in Brisbane.

"This was a great opportunity to present the resource to a key audience of crash analysts, education developers, and international road policing agencies," says Iain.

Just Another Saturday Night, a collaboration involving Police and Road Safe Hawke's Bay, is based on a high-speed crash in 2007 between Napier and Hastings.

Four young men, who had been drinking, were in a car travelling at up to 180kmh which hit a tree in a 55kph zone.

"This changed their lives for ever," says Iain. "Two died, two were critically injured, including one passenger who was trapped in the wreck which caught fire."

One of the survivors, Jared Thomas, now requires 24-hour-a-day nursing care. He agreed to tell his story as part of the campaign and has accompanied Iain on visits to schools and elsewhere.

The success of such targeted campaigns has been reflected in a reduction of 27 percent in the number of youth deaths and 14 percent in youth drink-drive apprehensions over the past three years in Hawke's Bay.

Iain said the conference provided an opportunity to discuss common issues and ideas, and underlined that New Zealand is not alone in facing such issues.

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