“Being a policeman for over 12 years, I had to knock on one too
many doors to tell parents that their child was involved in a car
accident. That was when I realised I needed a career change. Now I’m a driving instructor, ensuring children drive home safely."
"I started working with Carey and Pathway Reintegration Services
about 18 months ago and it’s been really rewarding to provide driving
assessments for those who might not have otherwise had the opportunity.
So when I heard about the Navigate Initiative, it was just the next logical step for me to offer my services for this project.
Helping them improve their driving skills and understand how to be a safe driver is the best way I can think of to give back to the community, to my community. It’s making the roads safer for everyone.
The first four-hour course took place before Christmas and the five Tu Ora
who participated really seemed to enjoy it. It was focused on teaching hazard and risk-reduction strategies, which could be studied in a mostly paper-based class. But when it comes to driving, theoretical classes clearly aren’t the same as being on the road - which is why we had to get creative.
To reduce the Tu Ora’s anxiety of being on the busy roads (again) and build their confidence, the idea was born to bring a driving simulator into prison. This particular simulator is placed in a car trailer, and it looks and feels like a regular driver’s seat with pedals, gearbox, handbrake, and a steering wheel that has three screens in front of it, simulating driving on the roads. Getting the simulator approved by the prison certainly was a challenge, but one I was more than willing to take on. It was so rewarding to see our Tu Oras’ faces light up when they first saw the simulator!
Once they are released, we will provide the Tu Ora with more driving lessons if needed which will enable them to drive to work, see their families and hopefully to feel a real sense of achievement.”
-Tim, PROactive Drive, Driving instructor
The participating Tu Ora have responded with great enthusiasm to Tim’s road safety classes. Both first-time drivers and the more experienced ones were impressed by Tim’s valuable experience regarding road safety and hazard prevention. One of the Tu Ora Navigators explained, “They felt it made them far more aware of the hazards on the road, their responsibilities as a passenger and driver alike.” A few of the Tu Ora mentioned they had had “far out moments” when they realized the danger they had put themselves and others in, in the past. The discussions following the sessions have been robust and stimulating with the Tu Ora challenging each other about their attitudes around driving. All agreed that there are huge practical benefits for both the Tu Ora and the people who will be on the road with them in the future and the Tu Ora were quick to recommend this course to others.
“We need more of these types of activities that help to prepare us for the outside world. We’re really impressed with Tim and the way he has shared his valuable experience to help us become better drivers and passengers too.” -Tu Ora
They particularly look forward to the Driving Simulator sessions where they
can work on changing old driving habits in a real-life simulated situation.