A road safety expo utilising community partnerships can be an excellent event for a SADD group to run to get students engaged with road safety and to build momentum for your SADD group. We asked Tayla Wakelin from Lincoln High School about her SADD group’s experience of running a very successful expo.
What made your SADD group decide to run the Safer Driving Expo at school, and what was the aim of it?
We had several ideas of things we wanted to achieve this year. Unfortunately, we were the first SADD group to get off the ground at Lincoln in a long time, so by the time we were all set up we had lots of awesome ideas and not a huge amount of time to make them all happen. The Safer Driving Expo was a really good way to put all our ideas together. The aim behind the expo was to send a message to students that interactions between themselves and emergency services don’t have to be negative, and to try and put them in control of learning how they can be safer on the roads as young people. It was informative, fun, and a casual setting so there was no pressure to have to do anything. This was important to our school given the tragic events of Lincoln’s past.
How did you go about planning it?
We held several meetings to draft up a plan with what we wanted. We then took this idea to our senior leadership team who were keen and supportive, they gave us the go ahead to start making it happen. From there, we started to approach the organisations we wanted. This really was the hardest part – many people and vehicles meant lots of planning and making sure we were one step ahead the whole time. Everyone who got involved was very passionate and did everything they could to help us prepare. We drew up a map with where we would station everyone and made a list of those coming along so we could check them in once they arrived. On the day, everybody in our SADD group had a job they were responsible for – from checking in with all the organisations and making sure they had everything they needed, to running the SADD stall, even talking to students.
Who did you organise to come along?
We had an incredible response from those we asked to participate. Included in our expo were; St John Ambulance who did CPR demonstrations and talked with students. Fire and Emergency NZ who talked to students and let them see some of the tools working. Driven By U driving school who brought along their vehicle and talked to students about lessons, they even gave away a free driving lesson. Selwyn District Council came with information about DRIVE NZ, and ran an interactive activity using Fatal Vision goggles. SADD – Lydia came along and helped our SADD group to promote what we do and are about as well as giving away free stuff. We even managed to score Mr Whippy and a coffee van! At each of the areas we had goodie bags for the students to take home, inside the bags were keyrings, pamphlets, drink bottles, pens and notebooks.
What advice would you have for another SADD group if they wanted to run some sort of road safety expo in their school or community?
We would say make the time to explore the resources available to your community! We contacted the road safety coordinators in our community and told them our idea, they were keen to meet with us, and we came away from a meeting with them armed with lots of ideas, they had some awesome ideas and access to resources we wouldn’t have otherwise found. Contact your local emergency services, they are always keen to help out in the community and meet the local young people, so definitely explore a bit to see who you can get involved and what they can bring along. Everyone all has the same goal at the end of the day.
Lydia from the SADD team went along to Lincoln’s expo and said “It was great to see the buzz of young people engaging in different road safety activities and building positive relationships with community partners, all of those small interactions can make a big difference”.
This is what Steph, from Lincoln’s local Road Safety team had to say about the expo.
“Tayla and Lachie (Lincoln’s SADD leaders) came to the Selwyn District Council’s Road Safety team with a plan to hold a Road Safety Expo during a lunch break. It was clear they had put a lot of thought coming up with a vision of how the event would run and asked for our support. Young drivers is one of our big risk areas and we were more than happy to be a part of the event handing out DRIVE drink bottles, flyers and having some great conversations around alcohol and driving. Definitely approach your local council road safety team for support and collateral when planning.”