Students hope bumper stickers will alert locals

By Sandy Myhre -
1 comment
TLinks company directors Alex Ough Dealy (left) and Nikara Tikaram from Kerikeri High School show their bumper stickers to Associate Minister for Transport  Craig Foss.
TLinks company directors Alex Ough Dealy (left) and Nikara Tikaram from Kerikeri High School show their bumper stickers to Associate Minister for Transport Craig Foss.

As part of the Youth Enterprise Scheme two Kerikeri High School Year 13 students have come up with a plan they say should help to reduce the number of road accidents involving tourists.

Alex Ough Dealey and Nikara Tikaram started their business at the beginning of the year with overseas exchange student Malte Staab from Wiesbaden in Germany, who has since returned home.

Their objective is to make all road users aware of drivers who may not be used to Northland roads by supplying the tourists with bumper stickers.

Please Be Patient is the message on the sticker, with the strapline We're enjoying the view.

The politeness is deliberate.

"We initially thought to produce a T-plate as in tourist but decided against that because it could be seen as discriminatory," said Ms Tikaram.

"We want the stickers to be tourist friendly."

Part of her motivation is personal. One of her friends was killed in a car accident overseas when her mother was driving.

According to the Ministry of Transport 5.7 per cent of all fatal and injury crashes involved an overseas licence holder.

In the Far North 9 per cent of crashes over a five-year period from 2010-2014 involved an overseas driver, which is higher than Rotorua (7 per cent) but well below that of Queenstown Lakes (25 per cent) and Southland (24 per cent).

Alex Ough Dealy says Northland roads in general are different from the rest of the country.

"We have quite a few winding roads up here and there are a lot of one-lane bridges which tourists might not be familiar with."

The company called TLinks was started three weeks ago. "Links" in German means "left".

There is a website and a Facebook page and the intention is to market the stickers mainly through social media and with the help of numerous sponsors.

They intend to produce their own YouTube clip in the future, depending on finance.

TLinks also has stickers for inside a vehicle that warn to keep valuables safe.

The girls have already been to see the Associate Minister for Transport, Craig Foss, in Wellington who is encouraging their initiative.

Both girls will be running a stall at the Old Packhouse Market in Kerikeri tomorrow with promotional material on TLinks' ideas.

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