208,000 high school students steer road safety program

Behind the scenes: (l to r) Damn Good Productions Kate Gallant, event manager Chapin Ayres, Westmead Hospital trauma nurse Julie Seggie and anaesthetist Dr Ken Harrison.

More than 145 Australian high schools have recently participated online of Westmead Hospital’s largest road safety forum, bstreetsmart.

The road safety forum was established by Westmead Hospital trauma nurses Stephanie Wilson and Julie Seggie in 2004.

Since then more than 208,000 students in years 10,11 and 12 have either attended the live interactive forum or viewed it online.

Westmead Hospital trauma nurse Stephanie Wilson said COVID-19 led the team to develop an interactive educational program online and reached out to schools from across the country.

“Students from Western Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland took part in the three-day educational forum,” Stephanie said.

“By hosting the online forum it allowed us to reach to communities we haven’t accessed before including students in the outreach communities of Australia and those who are home schooled.

“If we can help just one student think before they get behind the wheel and reduce their risk of having a crash – then we have achieved what we have set out to accomplish,” Stephanie said.

Filmed for the forum… bstreetsmart guest speaker and road crash survivor Heidi Haydon.

The virtual ceremony included a visual demonstration of the aftermath from a crash with the involvement and roles of the police, ambulance fire and rescue services and heard from survivors of crashes including Heidi Haydon who is paralysed from the chest down after being hit by someone who was driving under the influence of drugs.

Bstreetsmart receives support from the NSW government and has won many awards, including the Australian Road Safety Award in 2014 for Schools Programs Award and a Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Quality Award 2016 for Preventative Health.

For more information about bstreetsmart, click here