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bstreetsmart 6

Event recreates horror of fatal crash

Riley Riley

Australia’s largest educational road safety event Bstreetsmart will be open to the public for the first time this year.

More than 224,000 high school students have participated in Bstreetsmart over the past 19 years. 

Founded by Westmead Hospital’s Trauma Team in Sydney, the event recreates a fatal car crash in real-time with the help of emergency services.

The event is live-streamed and continues as crash survivors share how a moment behind the wheel changed their lives and the lives of loved ones forever. 

With drivers aged 17-25 years old accounting for 232 deaths road deaths in the 12 months to the end of June, 2023, with two-thirds of road deaths occurring in regional and remote areas, organisers say there is renewed urgency for the unique program to reach a wider audience.  

At the age of 18, Tom Spratt was enjoying his new-found freedom after finishing high school when he fell asleep while driving from the Central Coast to Newcastle in NSW.

While he managed to escape the wreck of his car after it flipped and landed on its roof, Tom was hit by an oncoming car and sustained life-threatening injuries, including bleeding and swelling of his brain. 

“I couldn’t walk, talk, or eat. I had to learn every basic human function again from the start. Every day was a fight for my rehabilitation,” he said. 

“I couldn’t make any memories for almost six months and I’ll never get that time back. Even now, I make lists of people I meet on my phone to help me remember them.”

Eight years on, Tom is happy to be driving again but wants young people to realise they are not invincible and that the decisions they make as drivers can affect their lives and the lives of others. 

Bstreetsmart founder and trauma clinical nurse at Westmead Hospital, Julie Seggie, agrees.

She said young people continue to be disproportionately represented in hospital beds as a result of road trauma. 

“We see far too many young people suffering preventable but life-changing injuries,” she said.

“If you are a parent of a child with a licence or an employer of young people driving to work, please show them this live-stream. It could save their life.”

Registration for the virtual Bstreetsmart is $13.20 and covers the cost of live-stream production.

It includes access from 2pm, Thursday, August 24 (AEST) and can be viewed anytime until December 20, 2023.


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