THE SOUTH Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) held its Road Awareness Program (RAP) on Tuesday April 11 at Port Augusta Secondary School (PASS).
The presentation lasted 100 minutes, empowering students – particularly from Year 11 – to be better road users.
Presented by MFS Station Officer Brad Ryan and road crash survivor Eli Murn, the program is aimed to be positive, engaging and emotionally powerful. RAP’s key message is ‘people don’t care how much you show off, but they want you to show how much you care’.
Mr Ryan said after experiencing RAP, students will use the ‘power of positive and constructive peer pressure’ in discussions with their friends to eliminate dangerous driving behaviours.
“Students care greatly about their mates when it comes to road safety,” he said.
Mr Ryan said statistics show that 30 per cent of all regional road fatalities are caused by fatigued drivers.
“The RAP team encourages students to identify options to address fatigue including sharing the driving with others in the vehicle,” Mr Ryan said.
“Alternatively, if they’re driving alone, they’ll recognise the benefits of pulling over to stop and rest.”
Mr Ryan said passengers and pedestrians can and do play significant roles in road crashes.
“RAP empowers passengers to speak up if they’re in a car where the driver is or other passengers are exhibiting dangerous behaviour and provides them with solutions to exit. No one should feel unsafe as a passenger in a vehicle,” he said.
Mr Murn experienced road trauma in 2004, acquiring a brain injury after a road crash incident. Once a promising sportsman, Mr Murn now uses his experience to educate young drivers.
“I’d like to make a universe of positive out of my personal negative,” he said.
The award-winning program was established in 2005, reaching over 150,000 licence-aged drivers and road users across SA. PASS student Jai Gericke said RAP has made him more aware of what is going on around him on the road.
“After sitting through the program, I realised how serious road safety can be and if people are being silly it can cause serious injuries and potentially death,” Jai said.
RAP is funded by state government and supported by sponsors RAA, the Motor Accident Commission and the Australian Professional Firefighters Foundation.