Yi Tao keen to start a road safety conversation


Sun Yi Tao prefers to be conversational rather than confrontational.

It is an approach the Students Against Dangerous Driving (Sadd) national leader believes in to convey the message of reducing risks, and the death toll, on roads throughout Waitaki and New Zealand.

Yi Tao wanted to be a pioneer for change.

Through evaluating research, he was delving deeper into the issues and said authorities were mostly tackling only the symptoms around the issues, when there was a deeper cause.

He has created a podcast to start a conversation, and bring issues into the public domain. He was still in the design stage, but expected the podcast, aptly named The Road Safety Conversation, to be out soon.

“I’ve absolutely loved it and it’s been such a good experience.

“I’m pushing myself out there to do cool things, and doing what I set out to do in the case of being a pioneer -I’m pioneering for this conversational approach to research especially.”

The 16-year-old was one of 13 national leaders who attended various workshops and conferences throughout the country, while working on their personal projects.

Sadd was also working with various agencies to work towards the Ministry of Transport’s Road to Zero initiative.

Being involved with Sadd gave Sun self confidence, helped him grow and helped him make connections throughout the country.

“You’re able to develop your initiative, your commitment and your consistency. That will help you achieve anything in your future career.”

The St Kevin’s College deputy head boy also acted as a mentor for other pupils involved in Sadd at a local level.

He encouraged any young people considering joining Sadd to grab the opportunity with both hands.

“Service in general is really important for the community and also yourself. You’re part of the community, you know what problems there are and if you’re thinking about it, you obviously have ideas on how to improve it. Go for it – you make the difference.”