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Holden Street Smart celebrating first anniversary

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Today marks the first anniversary of the launch of an exciting new driver awareness programme, Holden Street Smart, aimed at helping to make young drivers safer and more aware on our roads.

Following two years of development, Holden Street Smart was officially launched on the 1st of February last year, adopting learnings and research from countries recognised as delivering best practice when it comes to driver learning.

It is a world-class, cognitive based driver programme that aims to positively influence the lives of young kiwis across the country and has a focus on developing good decision-making strategies for safe driving, including assessment, reading the road environment, resisting peer pressure, managing or eliminating distractions and planning ahead. Holden Street Smart takes place in safe, controlled, off-the-road environments, under the watchful eye of qualified coaches and offers a hands-on practical learning experience, providing young drivers and their parents/caregivers the opportunity to undertake supervised driving practice.

Since its launch on the 1st of February last year, nearly 900 young drivers plus their parent / caregiver have attended the programme, which currently take place in 5 locations around the country each school holidays.

Feedback from participants has been overwhelmingly positive. Vinny McCorkindale attended Holden Street Smart with her son and comments: "It was a very worthwhile day spent in Cromwell with the Holden Street Smart team - not only for the young drivers who took part but also the parents who accompanied them. There was something for everyone and a great opportunity to sharpen up on our everyday driving skills in a controlled environment. This course raises everyone's awareness of our responsibilities on the road - a serious message delivered in a professional way. I would recommend this for all drivers as a fun and very beneficial experience."

Programme Amabassador, and recent Motoring Writers Guild Neil Nelson Trophy Memorial Award recipient, Greg Murphy was recently quoted "There is no shortage of roads in NZ that need money spent on them. Continually improving the roading system will make driving more efficient and safer for all road users by reducing some of the risks associated with being on our roads , but it won’t improve the driving skills of Kiwi’s and at the end of the day we still need to focus on preparing drivers better than we generally do. The amount of damaged median and roadside barriers on perfectly good and straight roads throughout NZ tell you it’s not just the roads that need attention - cars don’t crash themselves."

"NZ Drivers are still making way too many bad decisions which in many cases are just because they ‘don’t know’ that it is a bad decision. If you haven’t been told or learnt something, then how are you supposed to know? Improving the roads alone will not change this, so we still desperately need to focus on improving drivers." Marc Ebolo, Managing Director of Holden New Zealand, adds: "Holden is committed to tackling and reducing the New Zealand road toll, which is rising at a worrying rate. The main purpose of Holden Street Smart is to target the most at-risk group when it comes to accidents and fatalities on the road and its young drivers that fall into this category more often than most. We believe this education and hands-on experience will help to change behaviour on the roads in the future." Holden Street Smart will be travelling the country this April school holidays. Locations, dates and attendee availability can be found on their website - www.holdenstreetsmart.co.nz

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