Australia’s largest road safety event, bstreetsmart, kicked off today at Qudos Bank Arena with more than 25,000 NSW students in year 10 to year 12 from 195 schools expected to attend across the three days.
bstreetsmart was founded in 2005 by Westmead Hospital trauma nurses Julie Seggie and Stephanie Wilson in the hopes of reducing the number of young people involved in crashes on our roads.
At bstreetsmart, students experience the impact of road trauma through real-life simulated crash scenarios, interactive displays, a theatre sports performance, powerful presentations from survivors, and personal accounts from family members of people killed in crashes.
“Driver distractions such as mobile phones, conversations and loud music play a large role in many of the incidents we see in the emergency department,” said Julie.
“bstreetsmart is a confronting yet effective way of demonstrating the possible consequences of being distracted as a driver.”
This event is not just for drivers but also for our youth as passengers and pedestrians.
Stephanie said that “events like bstreetsmart can have a big impact and are a way to educate young people about the serious consequences of speeding, drink and drug driving, mobile phone use, fatigue and distraction, which are all major factors in road trauma for young people.”
Between 2016 and 2020, 165 young drivers aged 17-25 died on NSW roads and about 2,719 were seriously injured.
Minister for Metropolitan Roads Natalie Ward said it was great to welcome back students to this important educational event.
Tragically, young people aged 17-25 represent about 20 per cent of drivers killed annually on NSW roads, but only make-up about 15 per cent of licence holders,” Mrs Ward said.
“We know that education is one of the best ways to prevent these deaths and injuries among young people on our roads, with the number of young drivers killed on NSW roads having halved since the introduction of the Graduated Licensing Scheme in 2000.
“That is why the NSW Government is proud to support initiatives like bstreetsmart, to help educate young people about the serious consequences of speeding, drink and drug driving, mobile phone use, fatigue and distraction, which are all major factors in road trauma for young people.”