Late last term, our Year 11 and 12 students were involved in the Docudrama program, a senior school road safety education program run by the RACQ.

Docudrama involves emergency service workers and other local professionals to demonstrate a ‘mock crash’ road safety scenario. Students then explore and are equipped with real world strategies for combating road safety issues.

The first part of the Docudrama – the mock car crash – incorporated three Prince of Peace students into the scene as actors. The involvement of their classmates highlighted in a very powerful way the potential reality of the situation for those watching. The real life experience of the police officers who managed the accident scene, the ambulance officers who were ultimately unsuccessful in saving the critically injured female passenger, and the funeral home attendants who attended the scene to remove the deceased passenger, also helped to make this scenario real and confronting for our students.

Using research about young drivers, RACQ had selected this scenario to challenge both male and female students about their decision making, and the debriefing afterwards tracked the events that led up to this specific crash scenario. While males aged 15–24 are three times more likely to die in a car crash than females in this same age group, in the scenario that played out in front of the Prince of Peace students, the female passenger and her boyfriend between them made a series of choices about driving home from a party that ultimately led to the accident.

The choices students examined involved the ‘Fatal Five’ road safety issues: drink and drug driving; fatigue; not wearing a seatbelt; speeding; and distraction, whether from passengers or through the use of devices such as mobile phones.

During the debriefing sessions students were challenged about the choices they can make, but most importantly, they were also guided to develop clear strategies that enable them to be proactive rather than reactive when they encounter risky situations.