Mossman High students given lifesaving road safety lesson


Karlie Brady


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The annual crash simulation and training exercise at Mossman State School was held today. Video: Karlie Brady.
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Local year 12 students preparing to graduate tomorrow were faced with confronting scenes this morning, as the school sends them off with an important message that is hoped will save their lives.

The oval at Mossman State High School was transformed into the scene of a two-vehicle car crash, fit out with mangled cars, broken glass, patients screaming, lights and sirens, and a full outfit of local emergency services.

It was a sombre scene that all too often is a reality for young drivers.

Year 12 drama students, along with around 35 local QFES, police, medics, and SES played out the realistic scene as part of an annual car crash scenario and training exercise.

This year, the scenario was centred around a drink driver using their phone behind the wheel causing a collision with another car, resulting in a number of seriously injured teenagers and one deceased.

Mossman Fire and Rescue lieutenant, Andrew Petrack, coordinated the simulation and said it is geared to show students, who are about to go out into the world, that actions have consequences.

“There is an over-representation of crashes and fatalities on our road in this age group. Around 30 per cent of the fatalities at the moment in Queensland are aged between 17 and 24-year-olds,” he said.

Mr Petrack hopes to lower these statistics by very clearly showing young drivers what could happen if you drive irresponsibly on the road.

“There are fatalities, risks or permanent injury and ongoing effects and trauma after one of these accidents.”

This was the seventh annual crash scenario at the school and Mr Petrack said it really resonates with the kids, which is clear to see from their faces as they watch their classmates act out the scene.

“It was pretty hectic for them and it got to their emotions and that’s the point, we want to show that this could be real, this is how close it gets.

“I hope it works, and I think we can see that it is working,” he said.

Senior School Head of Department, Greg Hamilton hoped the exercise shows his students the impact poor decisions can have.

“It’s incredibly important to do it, especially now because when they finish school in 24 hours they get that feeling of jubilation and sometimes their decision making can be impaired by how excited they are about finishing school, so it is important timing in that regard,” he said.

“It astounds me the support we get from all of the emergency services in our area.

“You look at the number of personal and equipment here today and you can see how important these emergency services believe it to be for our young students.

“If just one of the students makes a smart choice after this, or tells their friends to make a smart choice, then it is 100 per cent worth it.”

Year 12 student, Jorja Harvey watched the simulation unfold and said when the lights and sirens came onto the scene it felt like it could have been a real crash.

“I think it was a really good experience; it was a little frightening, but really good and educational because I have never seen anything like this and I don’t think a lot of other students have either,” she said.

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