By Aaron Goodwin
It’s never to early to learn about road safety as local emergency service personnel taught Bundaberg school students some potential lifesaving lessons during Road Safety Week (24-28 August).
Local QFES and QPS officers attended Shalom College and spoke with Year 11 and 12 students for the purpose of delivering the new Road Attitudes and Action Planning (RAAP) presentation, a crime prevention strategy to provide information to young people about road safety so that they can make an informed decision to mitigate risks and consequences by planning ahead.
Senior Constable Brittany Duncan said that RAAP is presented in the school environment by operational firefighters with the assistance of police officers who have experience with the trauma involved with vehicle crashes.
“They bring the credibility of someone who experiences dangerous situations and incidents on a regular basis with continual exposure to the consequences of road crashes,” Snr Con Duncan said.
“These presentations are simply about getting the conversation started about road safety and tips students can take away to keep themselves safe when using the road.
“If it means the next time a 6 year old goes for a ride on their bicycle, they put their helmet on or a 17 year old follows the speed limit when they are driving their mates around town then these presentations are a success.
“The presentation was well received by students, Both QPS and QFES members are looking forward to presenting the program to more high schools in the area.”
Shalom College’s Acting Principal Peter Robinson said that Year 10s at Shalom also complete a whole term on road safety in PE program.
“Road safety is all road users responsibility and we have a lot of year 11 and year 12 drivers at the college – and a lot of students who are on their L’s and learning to drive,” Mr Robinson said.
“The students learnt road safety common points for all road users.
“What happens when accidents happen and what police and fire and rescue do as well as the common driver mistakes and distractions that cause accidents, especially on mobile phones.”
Bundaberg Police also attended St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and spoke to the Year 1’s about road safety for young children such as wearing seatbelts, wearing helmets while riding bicycles and scooters, looking both ways and holding an adults hand when crossing the road.
The presentation also covered cyber safety, stranger danger and the role of a police officer.
“It is important to target people of all ages for road safety, whether they are 6 or 16 years old,” Snr Con Duncan said.
“All age groups are users of the road, younger students in a pedestrian capacity by riding their bicycles or scooters while the older students are getting their Learner or Provisional Plates.”
Senior Constable Duncan added that Bundaberg police were proactive during Road Safety Week, conducting mobile patrols and static roadside breath testing site in the Bundaberg Patrol Group.
“For the week, 553 Roadside Breath Tests were conducted with 59 x Traffic Infringement Notices issued,” Snr Con Duncan said.
“Locals schools and shopping centres also showed their support by displaying road safety messages on their message boards.
“Road safety is always a major concern to police, not only during road safety week.
“The causal factors of all traffic crashes are a result of the fatal 5, speeding, seatbelts, driver distraction, drink/drug driving, fatigue and these are the areas that police would like the community to improve on.”