Street Smart drivers put theory to the test

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Southland District Mayor Gary Tong (left) and Clutha District Mayor Bryan Cadogan visit the Street Smart course at Teretonga Park, near Invercargill, on Saturday. PHOTO: LAURA SMITH

MORE than 1300 youths across the country have taken part in a Street Smart driving course, with the latest held during the weekend near Invercargill.

The course, which aimed to provide hands-on practise to drivers to improve their driver safety awareness, was held at Teretonga Park on Sandy Point Rd on Saturday and Sunday.

Street Smart programme director Hayden Dickason said it was the first course to be held in Invercargill and up to 30 people could take part each day, with parents and caregivers welcomed too.

“Research shows for young driver development that hands-on practical, cognitive learning is the best approach.”

The course involved 10 stations where drivers put theory into practise and included emergency breaking, following distance rules and distraction while driving.

“We want to instil good driving but we wanted the drivers and the parents to enjoy themselves at the same time.”

The drivers were being taught by local qualified driving instructors and the marshals were from the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT).

Mr Dickason said the participant registration fee was only a small component of the cost of running the course as funding was given by various groups which included Southland and Clutha district councils, SIT, Road Safety Southland, Clutha Road Safety, and Macaulay Ford.

“We wouldn’t have been able to bring it to Invercargill without the help of these guys.”

Mayors Gary Tong and Bryan Cadogan headed out to the park on Saturday to watch the course and its participants.

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