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Young actors to demonstrate road dangers in mock crash

Western Plains App

Lily Plass

10 May 2024, 9:20 PM

Young actors to demonstrate road dangers in mock crash Crash scenario filming

Young actors from the Lachlan shire have to chance to educate their peers in a mock crash about the importance of road safety as part of an ongoing program that is smashing statistics in the region.


This is Road Safety Week - 5 May to 12 May - which raises awareness about traffic injury and the over-representation of fatalities among children and young adults under the age of 25.

A shocking 45 per cent of all young Australian injury deaths are due to road traffic crashes.


"Traffic injury is the biggest killer of Australian children under 15 and the second biggest killer of all Australians aged 15-25," according to Safer Australian Roads and Highways group. 

Along with Parkes and Forbes shires, Lachlan council and the annual crop of young actors are aiming to change those statistics.


On 16 May auditions will start for the 2024 NOT A STATISTIC! Youth Driver Education Program which involves filming a mock crash with young, local actors in their late teens and early 20s. 


"The program started in 2008 as a response to an over-representation of young drivers that were involved in crashes in our local road network," the Councils' Road Safety and Injury Prevention officer Melanie Suitor said. 


"In the follow-up lesson, they can ask us questions about what they saw and how realistic it was and we can provide them with useful information.


Since the program began, there has been a 27 percent decline in crashes involving young drivers in the three shires. 


Besides age and experience, the high-speed limits on rural roads also increase the risk factor for all drivers, according to Ms. Suitor. 


"I guess we can say this across the board for any of our drivers in regional New South Wales because we're separated from other towns. So we have to drive on these high-speed roads."


"The bigger the speed, the bigger the impact when you crash into something. Crashes on regional roads that have a high speed limit, they're definitely more likely to result in a fatality or serious injury."


According to statistics from the NSW government, there has been a 73.1 percent increase in the number of fatal crashes in country urban areas from 2023 compared with the 2020-2022 average.


"Country urban areas refer to roads outside the Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong metropolitan areas with a speed limit of 80 km/h or less," according to a NSW transport spokesperson. 

 In country non-urban areas, there was a 5.4 percent increase within that timeframe.


NOT A STATISTIC! involves a realistic crash demo with educational lessons both before and after. The crash demo is based on what many p-plate accidents look like in rural and regional areas which often involve offenses like speeding, drunk driving, or being distracted by a mobile phone. 


"It's a great opportunity for them to get some experience in acting live but also acting on camera," Ms. Suitor said. 


The auditions will be held on Thursday 16 May from 5 p.m.- 8 p.m. at the Parkes SES shed in Clarke Street.