Bay of Plenty students are joining a nationwide call to go 48 hours phone-free next week from May 27 to raise awareness of the dangers of using a phone while driving.

Students taking part in SADD (Students Against Dangerous Driving)'s Phone Free 48 campaign aim to show going without your phone for small amounts of your day won't harm you, but using your phone while driving might.

Aquinas College student and SADD national leader Fergus Lellman is one of many Bay of Plenty students putting his phone down.

"While for those a little longer in the tooth going 48 hours phone-free sounds like an easy feat, it is a great way for students like myself to see how dependent we are on our phones and how much it affects our driving," Fergus said.


SADD national manager Donna Govorko said the message was not getting through to drivers that distracted driving was dangerous, and SADD students wanted to change that.

"It's not easy for some teenagers to be without their phones, but these students are really committed to highlighting the dangers that come with the distraction of phone use on our roads.

"SADD is a peer-to-peer education programme, so it's massively important that the safer driving messages give a youth perspective. Students told us how they wanted to make a difference and enable all road users of all age groups to do the same. It's a privilege to make that happen and witness the genius of Kiwi youth at work."

Crashes involving young drivers on learner and restricted licences have risen by 74 per cent since 2013 (compared with an overall increase of 40 per cent or the whole population).

Young learner and restricted licence holders account for around one in seven fatal or serious injury crashes.