Westmead Hospital trauma specialists were on-hand today to help more than 26,000 high school students bstreetsmart on our roads.
bstreetsmart co-founders and Westmead trauma nurses Stephanie Wilson and Julie Seggie watched on as students witnessed simulated crash scenarios and heard from road trauma survivors, as part of the road safety initiative, designed to encourage young people to make safer choices as a driver and passenger.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Roads Melinda Pavey welcomed the students to Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena for the event’s official opening.
Ms Berejiklian said education was key to keeping young drivers safe on the roads.
“By understanding the consequences associated with risky driving, young people are empowered to change their behaviour and make safer choices when getting behind the wheel or travelling as a passenger,” she said.
Young drivers continue to be over-represented in road crashes. P-platers make up eight per cent of all driver licence holders, yet their crashes account for 15 per cent of all fatalities on NSW roads.
“Education is one of the best ways to prevent young people being killed or seriously injured in road crashes, which is why road safety is a mandatory part of the curriculum for NSW school students,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We remain committed to initiatives that support what we teach in schools; events like bstreetsmart help ensure young people are prepared for what they might face as novice drivers and passengers on our roads.”
Minister Pavey said 2016 was a horror year for road accidents, with 79 young people (aged 17 to 25) losing their lives and 2479 seriously injured.
“Young drivers are most at risk in the first six months of driving solo on their p-plates,” she said.
“Around a quarter of all road trauma admissions in our hospitals are people under the age of 25 and together they make up around 24 per cent of the NSW road toll.”
Nurses Stephanie Wilson and Julie Seggie said more than 145,000 NSW high school students had gone through the potentially life-saving program since it began in 2005.
Students from more than 210 schools are expected to attend this year.
bstreetsmart features real-life road crash scenarios, interactive displays, speaker sessions from road trauma survivors and their families and presentations from road safety experts.
For more information about the program, click here.