Driving home road safety

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian

Several students planning to get behind the wheel in the upcoming months have voiced their biggest fears about driving at the Rotary WA Driver Education program held recently.

The program is an annual event co-ordinated by Geraldton’s Rotary clubs and aims to teach driving-age children about road safety, as well as the consequences of being irresponsible on the road.

Geraldton Senior College Year 10 students Maddison Conti, Lily Riley and Sarah Broadhurst voiced concerns about other drivers, road trains and busy streets.

“I think what I’m scared of most is other drivers being impatient,” Maddison said. “I’m scared of the big trucks, because often they take up the whole of the other lane,” Lily said.

“I don’t like driving in busy areas,” Sarah admitted.

“There’s just lots of things that can happen.”

The girls attended the event with Year 10 and Year 11 students from Mullewa District High School and Geraldton Grammar School, all of whom rotated through different presentations including the experiences of a crash survivor with a permanent injury.

Geraldton Grammar Year 10 students Alessio Salato, River Milnes and Wil Gething each said their primary fear about driving was hurting other people.

“What I’m scared of most is accidentally hurting someone,” Alessio said.

Classmate River said he was most worried about how many accidents occur on the road.

“I worry about horrific crashes,” he said.

His friend Wil agreed.

“I’d be scared of making the wrong decision that causes a fatal accident or a life-changing situation,” he said.

Long-time supporter of the Rotary driver education program and business development manager of Geraldton-based freight and transport company Patience Bulk Haulage, Anthony Bakranich, said he hoped the main outcome of the program would be for the students to learn to be patient.

“I understand what the kids mean, people want to get somewhere yesterday and they don’t want to wait 10 seconds, it really annoys me,” Mr Bakranich said.

“All I keep telling these kids is to be patient, because using the roads is a privilege and not a right.

“One silly mistake can cause serious injury or death and they should be here for when their own kids go for their licence.”

The Rotary WA Driver Education program featured a number of practical and theory-based workshops including insight into braking distances, the perspectives of road train drivers, insurance, the law and long-distance driving.

The initiative was sponsored by a $3226 grant from Bendigo Bank Geraldton.

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