NSW high-school students confronted with realities of road safety at Westmead Hospital’s bstreetsmart 2023

bstreetsmart 2023 crash scenario

Young road users in NSW will be reminded of their responsibilities in the car and on our roads at Australia’s largest road safety event, bstreetsmart.

Almost 25,000 Year 10, 11 and 12 students will take part in the sessions hosted at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney Olympic Park from August 22-24.

Young adults, aged 17-25, represented about 13 per cent of all licence holders but accounted for 19 per cent of all drivers and riders involved in fatal crashes in 2022.

bstreetsmart was founded in 2005 by Westmead Hospital trauma nurses Julie Seggie and Stephanie Wilson in Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) and is a one-day program repeated over three days that aims to help reduce fatalities and serious injuries among young people.

Transport for NSW is a sponsor of the event, contributing $300,000 to this year’s event. 

More than 242,000 NSW high school students have attended bstreetsmart since it started in 2005.

Westmead Hospital trauma nurse, Julie Seggie said:

“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.

“As nurses, and many of us as mothers, we wanted to find a way to prevent death and the often-devastating injuries that occur as a result of road crashes.

“As young people walk away from bstreetsmart we want them to think about how they would feel if they were responsible for the death of a friend or causing someone such severe injury that they can never lead a normal life again.”

Minister for Health, Ryan Park said:

“Students and teachers will learn about 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.

“bstreetsmart promotes responsibility and encourages our young drivers to take care of each other by not taking risks on our roads and is a confronting yet effective way of demonstrating the possible consequences of being distracted as a driver.

The program is now in its nineteenth year of running and attendance numbers grow each year.” 

Minister for Roads, John Graham said:

“Between 2018 and 2022, 143 young drivers aged 17-25 died on NSW roads and about 2,233 were seriously injured. 

“Empowering young people to understand the life-changing consequences of their decisions behind the wheel and as a passenger is crucial for road safety.

“bstreetsmart is a great way for our young drivers to learn about the responsibility that comes with driving in an interactive way.

“Students will watch a simulated crash scenario and take part in interactive displays at the Towards Zero Stand and the pass the ball exercise to show the impact of mobile phone distraction while driving. They will also hear emotional testimonies from road trauma survivors and family members.

“Learning to drive or ride is an exciting time for young people but it’s a big responsibility. We all have the power to make safe and responsible decisions to help ourselves and others on the road get home safely.”

For more information, visit bstreetsmart.org