Since 2010, the local Police in conjunction with the Rural City of Wangaratta and RoadSafe North East have delivered a driver awareness forum in Wangaratta called Cool Heads, educating young and inexperienced drivers of the consequences of dangerous behaviour on the road.
Cool Heads is a free program targeted at those driving on their Ls and Ps and newly full licensed drivers. Parents and other relatives who would like to positively influence a young driver are also encouraged to attend.
Interactive presentations and real-life stories from people whose lives have been affected by road trauma feature in the one and half hour forum. Co-ordinator of the Cool Heads program, Constable Peter Clarke, believes that the program is important as many young people are not taking on the road safety message.
“Young people are still over represented in the road toll statistics. What’s also concerning is that the number of inexperienced drivers being admitted to hospital and suffering serious injuries from motor vehicle accidents is rising.”
Constable Clarke considers the Cool Heads program to be particularly relevant to those driving in rural areas such as the north east of the state.
“Generally when there’s an accident in the country the vehicle is travelling at 100 kilometres an hour plus, so the result is pretty devastating for everyone. Not just for those involved or the families who lose loved ones, but also the emergency services workers who have the unfortunate job of seeing the devastation first hand.”
“The Cool Heads forum aims to change the mind-set of young drivers. Rather than thinking ‘that won’t happen to me’, through hearing personal stories we’re hoping that young drivers carry with them the attitude of ‘that could happen to me’, and this will guide their decision making on the road.”
There will be a range of speakers at the forum including a local Magistrate, members from the Police and other emergency services and a victim from a motor vehicle accident. Each will share their experiences in a bid to reinforce to young people the costs of risks such as speeding, drink driving, fatigue and being distracted whilst driving.
Cool Heads will be held at the Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre on Monday the 20th of August 2012, commencing at 6.30pm.
Anyone from the community is invited to attend this free event. For more information contact Wangaratta Police on (03) 5723 0888.
Certificates of attendence will be available for those ordered by the court to attend the program.
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