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Young people reluctant to speak up in speeding vehicles

Wednesday, 5th Apr 2017

Only one in two teenagers would ask a friend to stop and let them out if they were a passenger in a speeding vehicle, an RAA survey of learner drivers has revealed.

“Despite knowing that speeding is unsafe, only 53 per cent of students would have the confidence to ask a friend that’s speeding to pull over and let them out of the car,” said Penny Gale, RAA General Manager Engagement & Innovation.

Another 41 per cent of the 3500 South Australian high school students of learner driver age surveyed by RAA, said they would either not speak up or were not sure what they would do.

“Interestingly, 67 per cent of students surveyed said they would always tell their friends when they are driving unsafely,” Ms Gale said.

“Yet it seems they don’t have the confidence to follow through when they’re physically in a dangerous situation.”

Between 2012 and 2015, there were 75 casualty crashes caused by 16 or 17 year olds where speed was listed as a contributing factor. These resulted in 114 casualties, of which four people were killed and 25 people were seriously injured.

Over the next two days, at RAA’s annual road trauma awareness event Street Smart High, almost 7000 high school students from more than 70 schools around the state will learn how important it is to be a responsible road user, to speak up and remove themselves from dangerous situations.

“We understand that it can be daunting for young people to stand up to their peers, particularly at an age where they are trying so hard to fit in. This event is designed to show them that remaining silent can have serious, life changing and even fatal consequences,” said Ms Gale.

The Motor Accident Commission (MAC) Corporate Communications Manager Megan Cree said MAC is pleased to again be a Street Smart High event partner.

“Educating young road users about the importance of road safety continues to be a priority for MAC,” said Ms Cree.

“Young people are most at risk of crashing in the first 12 months on their P-plates and Street Smart High is a very powerful way of showing how road trauma can seriously affect yours and many other lives.

“Last year saw a drop in 16 to 19-year-old fatalities on our roads, from seven in 2015 to three in 2016, but we still need to reduce this further. Any life lost due to road trauma is one too many.”

Regional students from schools on the Fleurieu Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula and Eyre Peninsula, and in Murray Bridge, Gawler, Port Lincoln and Balaklava, have had the cost of their travel to and from Adelaide paid for to attend this important road safety event, the largest of its kind in South Australia.

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