RAA’s Street Smart High returns in a bid to reduce road trauma

19 October, 2021

Road crashes are one of the leading causes of death for people under the age of 25, State Government records show.

Tragically, latest figures also reveal 26 young people (16-25 years old) lost their lives and a further 143 were seriously injured on South Australian roads in the 12 months to September 2021.

These sobering statistics come as almost 7800 teenagers from 76 schools from across the state attend RAA’s road safety awareness event Street Smart High this week.

RAA’s Street Smart High – the State’s largest youth road safety event – is held today and tomorrow at the Entertainment Centre and is supported by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure. The annual gathering was suspended last year due to Covid restrictions.

The event aims to reduce the road toll through developing positive road safety knowledge, skills and attitudes amongst the next generation of South Australian road users.

The four-hour program includes a simulated crash scene, real life stories from people whose lives have been affected by road trauma, and a demonstration on the importance of ANCAP star ratings when choosing a car.

RAA Community Engagement Senior Manager Ben Haythorpe said it was vitally important to educate novice drivers about the risks and dangers they faced when they get in a car or on a motorcycle.

“People aged 16-24 years make up 13 per cent of the population but accounted for 21 per cent of all fatalities in SA over the past 2 years,’’ he said.

“Young people need to be exposed to road safety education consistently, and over many years, in order to develop positive road safety attitudes and behaviours.

“I’m confident road safety education is impacting positively on students’ attitude to risk taking on our streets and contributing to this long-term reduction in road trauma.

More than 60,000 year 10-12 students from over 80 schools across South Australia have attended Street Smart High since it began in 2009.