Learners Speech Hamilton April 2014

Right Track

John, Helen, Paul, my mum Caron, our distinguished guests, my Right Track friends and all our families, thank you all for being here.  My name is Tyler and although I’m normally not that comfortable standing in front of a crowd, tonight’s different. It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to acknowledge every one of you for believing in me enough to provide tools and experiences that have completely changed my attitude to impaired driving.

I am guilty of driving while drunk. Yes I believed there were stupider things to do – even if it was a very short list. I personally made this choice and immediately, began to suffer the consequences. I say “suffer” because I believed that’s what it was. I was “persuasively encouraged” to attend the Right Track course by the judge at my initial hearing and, although my license wasn’t surrendered, 10 weeks of traveling to Hamilton with my mum to be told all the reasons why – as a repeat criminal, I was an idiot, definitely wasn’t something I was looking forward to. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Over the past ten weeks, every weekly session has had an indescribable impact on what I want for my future. We have met some incredibly inspiring people, faced the horrendous sadness and sorrow of lives changed or cut short, the reality of so many professionals facing completely avoidable devastation in their everyday life – and even worse, the ripple effect every incident creates. It takes over 8,000 bolts to assemble a vehicle – and just one nut to scatter it all over the road. I am so thankful that I have been lucky enough not to be that nut.

Going forward – post Right Track, John’s hard case mannerism’s, Helen’s “very important looking” clipboard, six foot tall Paul’s lame jokes, Dean’s opening karakea’s, the teamwork, camaraderie and support of everyone here will never be forgotten – even if it is sometimes while laughing! My biggest lesson however, came from Tamati Paul when he said “Please, please, please take care not to shatter my dreams of your future.”

Unto whom is given, much is expected” (thanks Paul – very profound!). With all that I am as I stand in front of you all, I hope Tamati’s words never leave my head.

In closing, and summing up all kinds of impaired driving, this bumper sticker caught my eye: “Toot if you love God – text if you want to meet him.”

Thank you.

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