SAFETY FIRST: Grafton police and ambulance officers speak about driving safety as part of the
SAFETY FIRST: Grafton police and ambulance officers speak about driving safety as part of the "RoadWhyz" program at Grafton High School.Photo: Adam Hourigan

Students confronted

AS THE community comes to terms with a recent spate of senseless road carnage, 140 school students have been given a confronting lesson by local emergency services personnel.

Road Whyz is a road safety awareness program for young drivers modelled on a program that was initiated in the Hunter Valley and adapted by Vivienne Nichols, head teacher of welfare at Grafton High School.

"Local paramedics and police speak about real life experiences in a hard-hitting, no-nonsense presentation," Mrs Nichols said.

"It is confronting and shocking, and it sends a strong clear message."

Mrs Nichols said Year 11 students from Grafton and South Grafton High schools were attentive and quiet as they listened to the professionals speak.

"We try to enforce the message that road safety is all about choices and consequences," she said.

"Every action has a consequence and it is up to the individual to choose what they do."

Following the presentation, the students were asked to go home and discuss the issues with their families.

"We suggest families work together to have a back-up plan, and if a young person needs picking up late at night, it's important to have the option to call on someone reliable to come and get them," she said.

Although it was impossible to measure the program's success, if it impacted on just one student and helped them make a sensible decision, it was worthwhile, she said.

"You can never know the accidents that didn't happen."

The program was in its third year and she hoped it would eventually be adopted by all secondary schools in Australia.



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