Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey welcomed the students at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena today for the opening of bstreetsmart.
Ms Berejiklian said education was key to keeping young drivers safe on our roads and the Government was doing all it could to bring down the road toll and reduce the number of young people being admitted to hospitals across the state.
“By understanding the consequences associated with risky driving, young people are empowered to change their behaviour and make safer choices when getting behind the wheel or travelling as a passenger,” she said.
Young drivers continue to be over-represented in road crashes. P-platers make up 8 per cent of all driver licence holders, yet their crashes account for 15 per cent of all fatalities on NSW roads.
“Education is one of the best ways to prevent children and young people being killed or seriously injured in road crashes, which is why road safety is a mandatory part of the curriculum for NSW school students,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We remain committed to initiatives that support what we teach in schools and events like bstreetsmart help ensure that young people are prepared for what they might face as novice drivers and passengers on our roads.”
Minister Pavey said 2016 was a horror year for road accidents, with 79 young people aged 17 to 25 years losing their lives and 2479 seriously injured on NSW roads.
"Young drivers are most at risk in the first six months of driving solo on their P-Plates. Around a quarter of all road trauma admissions in our hospitals are young people under the age of 25 and together they make up around 24 per cent of the NSW road toll,” she said.
“That is why we recently strengthened our Graduated Licensing Scheme to improve the safety of learner and provisional licence holders to better prepare young drivers for real world road hazards and drive the road toll towards zero.”
bstreetsmart co-founders and Westmead trauma nurses Stephanie Wilson & Julie Seggie said more than 145,000 NSW high school students had gone through the potentially life-saving program since it began in 2005. Students from more than 210 schools are expected to attend this year.
bstreetsmart features real-life road crash scenarios, interactive displays, speaker sessions from road trauma survivors and their families and presentations from road safety experts.
The three-day road safety event has been supported by the NSW Government through Transport for NSW since 2010.
For more information about the program visit www.bstreetsmart.org