Driv­ing it home to teens

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

Many mes­sages were in­cor­po­rated into this year’s Teen Driver Expo and one was from first­hand ex­pe­ri­ence.

Prue Lake, of Pu­taruru, spoke pub­licly for the first time about her teenage son’s car ac­ci­dent. Three years ago, he drove while un­der the in­flu­ence and crashed which re­sulted in his friend’s death.

Lake’s main mes­sages to the stu­dents were ‘‘don’t drink and drive’’ and ‘‘be ed­u­cated’’.

It took a lot of courage for Lake to bring up the past.

‘‘ It was very hard to write and it was very hard to drag it all up,’’ she said.

Lake hoped her mes­sages were taken on board by the young au­di­ences.

‘‘You know there’s no guar­an­tee but you can only hope.’’

South Waikato District Coun­cil or­gan­ised the event and stu­dent driv­ers aged 16 to 18 from five South Waikato schools at­tended the two- day expo.

Am­bu­lance, po­lice, fire, NZTA and Safekids staff also at­tended with in­ter­ac­tive dis­plays.

Part-time judge Wayne Jowett put on a court sce­nario which ex­posed the stu­dents to the process of a drink- driv­ing trial.

Pho­tos: CAITLIN WAL­LACE

Death call­ing: Pi­casso Amouta, 16, meets the grim reaper at this year’s young driver expo.

Look out: Ahere Hapi, 16, hops into the driver’s seat to check what she can see in her sur­round­ings.

Blurry view: Ella Nord­strom has a go at putting a key in a lock with the beer gog­gles on.

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