03 Jun 2014
You might choose to take a risk on the roads, but you cannot choose the consequences.
That’s the message Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) firefighters will reinforce to Port Pirie and Port Augusta students when the organisation’s Road Awareness Program (RAP) visits local high schools during the first week of June.
Minister for Road Safety and Emergency Services Tony Piccolo said RAP is a confronting, hard-hitting program that’s delivered to licence aged high school students across South Australia.
“While the program can be graphic, emotional and challenging for the students, ultimately it leaves them feeling uplifted and empowered to create positive changes in driver behaviour on the roads, including positive peer pressure amongst their friendship groups,” Mr Piccolo said.
“There has been a significant drop in fatalities in the 16-19 year age group in South Australia in recent years.
“It’s an encouraging sign that various road safety education programs, including those presented by the MFS, MAC, SAPOL and other groups – are engaging students and prompting behavioural change.”
SA road crash fatalities - 16-19 year olds
2010 - 19
2011 - 6
2012 - 7
2013 - 2
2014 - 3 (Year to date)
Minister for Regional Development, Geoff Brock noted the importance of educating some of our most vulnerable drivers.
“It’s about changing the culture and educating these young men and women about the importance of driving safely. Road safety is a significant issue in our community – one death on our roads is too many.”
MFS RAP Coordinator and Station Officer Chas Thomas has removed countless road crash victims from vehicles during his firefighting career.
“Road crash survivor Eli Murn and I look forward to presenting RAP at Port Augusta and Port Pirie high schools this week,” Mr Thomas said.
“One of the questions we’ll be asking the students is how many people they believe are affected by a fatal or serious injury road crash. People tend to think it’s just close friends and family impacted by a serious road crash, when in fact it can run into the hundreds of people who are left traumatised, saddened and devastated.”
The MFS Road Awareness Program (RAP) has reached more than 85,000 licence aged drivers across South Australia since it began in 2005. The program is funded by the State Government and supported by sponsors the RAA, Adelaide BMW, the Motor Accident Commission (MAC) and the Australian Professional Firefighters Foundation (APFF) charity.
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