Breakdown drives pupils to write safety book

Eden Selman and Stellar Waipouri (both 17) show the guide they created to help teenagers facing...
Eden Selman and Stellar Waipouri (both 17) show the guide they created to help teenagers facing unsafe situations on the roads. PHOTO: LUISA GIRAO
A group of Invercargill girls saw a business opportunity from an incident where one of them struggled to jump-start her car.

James Hargest College pupils Eden Selman, Harriet Gilder, Stellar Waipouri and Carissa MacLennan noticed that like them, many teenagers did not know how to act in tricky situations such as changing tyres, dealing with a flat battery or getting a car out of mud.

As part of the Southland Young Enterprise scheme, the group Paddle decided to write and publish the pocket guide Emergency Handbook: Keeping New Zealand Teenagers out of Sh*t Creek outlining tips and essential information for people facing unsafe scenarios on Southland roads.

‘‘It happened with a friend, she ran out of battery. I had to rush out there but in the end — neither of us knew what to do,’’ Eden said.

‘‘And I feel so many people feel that way.

‘‘We decided it would be great to have a handbook, not some wordy manual, in our glovebox, just to give the bare bones of what we need when faced with a challenging situation, written by and for teenagers.’’

The group partnered with Road Safety Southland, which checked and approved all the information in the guide.

She said the number of crashes caused by teenagers were another reason to write the book.

‘‘Obviously teenage drivers are the most at risk drivers and that is why they are our target audience.

‘‘Our main goal is to keep everyone safe. Just chuck this book in your glovebox. Hopefully you will never need it, but if you do that’s just there for you.’’

The group would give $1 from every book sold to Drive My Life.

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