The holiday season is upon us and for many kids finishing year 11 it will be the first time they have had the chance to explore the region themselves or with their friends by car.
But with younger people so statistically over-represented in road accidents, the RRISK committee and NRMA Motoring & Services have joined forces to produce a hard-hitting road safety play.
The program, which ran in Tweed last week, will continue to be shown to north coast year 11 students throughout November, with the first showing for Lismore today at the Southern Cross University.
‘The play is divided into six short scenes which explore the freedom and responsibilities of being on the road together with driver distractions, inexperience and the consequences of taking risks.
North Coast Health Promotion alcohol projects coordinator Reyna Dight said, ‘More than 4000 year 11 students from 50 high schools will see the show produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company in conjunction with RRISK road safety experts.
‘Planning ahead, making safer choices, looking after friends and being responsible are reinforced throughout the performance which uses physical theatre, mime and audiovisual projections to challenge students to make safer choices as drivers and passengers.
NRMA president Wendy Machin said, ‘Younger drivers make up a small percentage of road users; however, [they] are over-represented in crash statistics and the RRISK program addresses important safety issues.
‘RRISK seminars also focus on high-risk drinking and managing pressure from peers.’
More than 350 students across the north and mid-north coast have been trained as peer facilitators by the RRISK committee and Red Cross ‘Save a Mate’ trainers in how to recognise and respond to alcohol and drug emergencies.
They will demonstrate and pass on these skills in small groups to their classmates at the RRISK seminars.
Ms Dight said research conducted by the George Institute for Global Health found that participating in the RRISK program reduced the risk of young drivers crashing by 44 per cent.