'Bstreetsmart' Road Safety Forum Shows Young Adults What Happens In A Crash

25/08/2015 3:52 PM AEST | Updated 03/08/2016 3:47 PM AEST

Video by Tom Compagnoni

Three teenagers leave a party. The driver's had a drink -- though he's a P-plater -- and in a moment of misjudgment the trio glance at a mobile phone.

Smashing into a telegraph pole, one passenger's left dead, another in a critical condition, while the driver faces ten years in jail.

It's a scene far too familiar for emergency services around Australia.

But thousands of NSW high school students saw it play out in gory detail on Tuesday.


Emergency services attend the mock crash (bstreetsafe/Supplied)

The simulated crash was part of "bstreetsmart," a road safety forum that targets young people.

The arena was completely silent as students watched the crash play out as-live before them. Actors, made up to appear bloody and bruised, carried out the scene as real police and ambulance officers responded as they would to a crash in the outside world.

"Seeing the people who had brain injuries talking to us, that was really confronting," St Catherine's student Caitlin Matthei, 17, told the Huffington Post Australia.

"I definitely need to think and focus whenever I'm driving and make sure I'm focused on the road and below the speed limit," she said.

15 percent of 17-24 year olds are licence holders in NSW, but despite this they make up 36 percent of road fatalities.


One of the "victims" is cut from the crashed car (bstreetsafe/Supplied)

Students heard from Tristan Kennedy, who crashed a trail bike into a semi-trailer while not wearing a helmet, suffering severe brain injuries. He previously appeared on SBS' Struggle Street to tell his story.

"I didn't think I'd be going home," he said to the crowd.

"I just want you to know that silly decisions change lives forever," he said. "Eight years ago I was irresponsible and look what happened."

Tristan has a full-time carer, memory loss, and impaired speech. His mate Dwayne Hodge was killed in the crash.


Students watch as Tristan Kennedy speaks (bstreetsafe/Supplied)

Teacher Alyssa Said, from Greenpoint Christian College, said a student at her previous school had died after crashing while driving with a mate.

"It was late at night, they were both very tired, and it was a country road," she told HuffPost Australia. "And they crashed into a tree."

"It was devastating for an entire school, a community, and everybody that's ever known him."

She said the message of the event was incredibly important for young people.

"To have an environment like this where it's seen first hand and they can experience it and it's more practical and hands on, I find that has so much more meaning and makes it ingrained in their minds," she said.

The forum opens after a horrific weekend on NSW roads. Two teenagers died after a crash in Emu Plains on the weekend, with another from the crash sent to hospital.

The forum will run for three days, with over 22,000 students from nearly 200 schools attending.

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