Project hits hard

“A real eye opener” was one description of the mock crash demonstration presented to the district’s Year 10 students last Friday.

Krystle-Lee McMurray, as the driver in this year's mock crash scenario, speaking to police. Photo supplied.

Krystle-Lee McMurray, as the driver in this year's mock crash scenario, speaking to police. Photo supplied.

The mock crash, involving a cast of young local actors alongside local emergency services, is the cornerstone of the NOT A STATISTIC! driver education program, started 10 years ago.

And it has certainly been an eye-opener for local actor and L-plate driver Krystle-Lee McMurray.

The Year 11 Red Bend Catholic College student first auditioned for the mock crash for acting experience. 

Four years on, she’s still involved, and says it’s had a huge impact on the choices she makes as a driver and passenger. She believes it does the same for others. 

Krystle-Lee believes the mock crash is something students can relate to, encouraging them to think about the choices they make when they get in a car.

“People are really awakened to the dangers,” she said. 

In this year’s scenario, presented to more than 400 students from Forbes, Parkes and Lachlan shires, a group of 18-year-olds have a big night and are still under the influence when they head into town the next morning. 

“They’re on the road and get distracted, passing phones around … an accident happens,” Krystle-Lee recounts. 

The curtain opened with the 000 call.

“When emergency service personnel arrived they were confronted with two severely injured trapped passengers, one dead passenger and a very emotional driver,” the councils’ road safety and injury prevention officer and mock crash coordinator Melanie Suitor said.

It’s a mock crash, but SES volunteers use the real jaws of life to cut the actors from the vehicle. 

The scenario also includes victim impact statements from those involved six months on. 

“There are not only physical scars from a road crash but far reaching emotional ones too,” Ms Suitor said.  “Not just for the passengers but their families, their friends and the emergency services that attend the scene.”

In the past 10 years there has been a 27 per cent reduction in crashes on local roads involving a young driver, Ms Suitor said, and police are now working on a similar project in Orange.

Mock Crash actors Krystle-Lee McMurray, Wally Campbell, Jade Carpenter and Emily McHugh-Douglas. Photo supplied.

Mock Crash actors Krystle-Lee McMurray, Wally Campbell, Jade Carpenter and Emily McHugh-Douglas. Photo supplied.