Firefighters help change risky teen driving behaviour - Video - Homebush

Published: 04 Aug 2022 12:08pm

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) is playing a major role in a program aimed at avoiding risky behaviour by teenage drivers.
 
The ‘bstreetsmart’ initiative, run by the Westmead Hospital’s Trauma Service at Qudos Bank Arena in Homebush, brings FRNSW crews, NSW Police, NSW Ambulance, the State Emergency Service and other first responders together with year 10, 11 and 12 students each year to promote safe road behaviour by young drivers, riders and passengers.
 
This year, 24-thousand students are attending the three-day event, now in its 17th year.
 
Senior Firefighter Kate Faith, from FRNSW’s Community Engagement Unit, said the program helps young people understand how distraction, drink-driving or tomfoolery in a motor vehicle can instantly lead to tragedy.
 
“At the start of the event, the students are often mucking around, playing with torch apps on their mobile phones, then the lights come on and there’s a hush around the arena as first responders and victims’ families reveal their road trauma experiences.
 
“You can see it getting through to a lot of these kids…they get confronted with a really graphic show but it’s an accurate representation of what actually happens at car crashes.
 
“We explain to them, it’s not a car accident, it’s a crash…because it’s always the result of someone doing the wrong thing or not doing something they should have.
 
“The program details what can happen to young drivers if they take dangerous risks…it could cost lives or result in a criminal conviction that stays on their driving record for life.
 
“We teach them that firefighters and others who have to attend those crashes can also be traumatised as a result of a reckless action.”
 
After hearing from emergency workers, crash survivors and the loved ones of victims, the teens witness a very realistic, simulated impact.
 
“A teen in the car takes their seatbelt off for a second to show a mobile phone text to the driver,“ Senior Firefighter Faith said, “That second is all it takes for something to go wrong and the vehicle hits a power pole, throwing the passenger through the front windscreen.
 
“It’s a powerful message but the young people leave the program understanding the dangers much more clearly.”
 
The public can learn more about the initiative at https://bstreetsmart.org/ [external link]
 
Media note: footage from the event is available via this link: https://vimeo.com/736361662/959d266bba [external link]

Updated: 04 Aug 2022 12:33pm

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