Drive to push road safety

More than 17,000 high school students from 150 NSW high schools heard from police, health and road safety experts as well as crash survivors about how to decrease their chance of becoming a road statistic.

The 2012 bstreetsmart was hosted by Westmead Hospital and supported by the NSW Government through Transport for NSW.

The forum highlighted to high school students the importance of the decisions they make as passengers and drivers, and the impact a serious road crash can have on everyone involved, including rescue personnel.

"The crash scene was very graphic, but made you think about all the services and people that you would have to rely upon to come help you if you had a serious crash," St Johns Park High School student Dyana Shabo said.

The forum added to the messages delivered in school road safety education programs.

"Students learn about the consequences of unsafe road-use behaviour as part of personal development, health and physical education in Years 9 and 10. Many schools use the forum to supplement their current road safety teaching and learning programs," Darren Neagle, team leader of the department's Road Safety Education Program said.

Young drivers aged 17 to 25 years of age comprise only 14 per cent of driver licence holders but accounted for 21 per cent of all drivers involved in fatal road crashes between 2009 and 2011. Young males (77 per cent) were overwhelmingly more likely than females to be involved as a driver involved in fatal crashes.

Speed was also an issue for young drivers, with those aged 17 to 25 accounting for 36 per cent of all speeding drivers involved in fatal crashes, with the risk increasing if two or more passengers were in the vehicle.

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