Drink-driving offenders on climbing wallThe Department of Corrections has partnered with Roadsafe Taranaki to run an innovative programme with young offenders to tackle drink-driving and encourage road safety.

The programme aims to help young people (aged 18-25) with driving offences to understand the consequences of their actions and the heavy toll they can have on families and the community. It also aims to empower them to make the right decisions in the future.

One of the initiatives challenged young drink drivers to climb an eight metre high rock wall at Rock Up North.  This activity was chosen as a practical way to demonstrate how to balance risk while keeping participants engaged.  It also focused on a number of skills that relate to safe driving including thinking ahead, concentrating, working with others and using restraint.

Around 80 people took part in the activity throughout the day. Twenty offenders also had a session with the Problem Gambling Heath Promoter.

Coralea Easther, Department of Corrections District Manger, Whanganui-Taranaki said “The overall focus of the day was to promote safe and healthy challenges – taking risks and competing in a safe environment promotes a sense of trust, team work and judging on the noise from the supports on the ground it was well received”.

Corrections and Roadsafe Taranaki are working together on a number of other activities including ‘Just another Saturday night’ a session that looks at how bad decisions, speed and alcohol can change lives forever, and ‘The high cost of drunk drivers’, the story of the a man who was hit by a disqualified driver at 165 kph and his determination to live, walk and talk again.