Road Safety Week and Youth Week Combine

Road Safety Week and Youth Week came together yesterday (May 21, 2014) on the streets of Kaikohe.

Youth Week and Road Safety Week both carry important messages for communities, and on Wednesday the local Youth Week Road Show crew hijacked a police check-point. Instead of handing out tickets, we delivered gold stars to vehicle occupants with seat-belts on and properly restrained kids.

The Youth Week crew rallied around the official theme: “Be the Change”, encouraging drivers to keep up the good practices and make sure those around them – especially young drivers and passengers – heed the important road safety messages. Drivers were also encouraged to come along to the Youth Week finale on Saturday 24th to contribute to a great event for Kaikohe youth.

I thought the two campaigns should go hand in hand, bring the two national promotions together. Road Safety Week came with the promise of increased police check points in Kaikohe and would be seen as a negative, but road safety is a key concern for the whole community. Being safe on the road is about health and wellbeing, just like Youth Week.

For Police yesterday’s focus was on education and increasing police visibility in Kaikohe. The local force is keen to engage with youth and the community and build new relationships. They saw the check point hijack as showing the lighter side of the force.

Road Safety Week is a poignant reminder that young people need support both in driving safely and in making good decisions. The Kaikohe Social Sector Trial and the Youth Action Plan also nurture collaboration in activities, with the check point hijack involving a large number of local organisations working together.

Brennan Rigby

Kaikohe Youth Action Plan Project Manager