Murtoa College students Fit2Drive with new training program

MURTOA College students will examine a car crash scenario on Friday.

Year 11 students will participate in Fit2Drive, a program aimed at reducing the likelihood of youth road trauma.

The half-day workshop will include a police briefing about the lead-up to a particular crash scenario, the actions required of professional people and onlookers at the scene, and the aftermath.

Then the students will break off into small groups led by trained mentors, to discuss the decision-making that happened before the vehicle started its journey.

RoadSafe Wimmera executive officer David Rule said students would be encouraged to think about how they would behave in similar circumstances.

"It provides participants with an opportunity to consider how individual decision-making can decrease risk factors when it comes to driving or travelling in a vehicle," he said.

"Victoria is, statistically, one of the safest places in the world to drive.

"Much has been done to reduce the road toll from 1031 in 1971 to 284 last year."

But he said drivers aged 18 to 25 were over-represented in the road toll.

"For a significant number of these crashes, risk-taking behaviour and poor decision-making are key factors," Mr Rule said.

The Fit2Drive program is sponsored by RoadSafe Wimmera, with support from the Fit2Drive Foundation.

It is also backed by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, the Transport Accident Commission, VicRoads and the RACV.

Murtoa College senior school co-ordinator Andrew Vague said the school had not participated in Fit2Drive before.

But he believed the program would make students more responsible drivers.

"It's incredibly important that they appreciate what it means to have a licence, and the responsibilities involved," he said.

Students are exposed to driver safety messages throughout senior school.

Last year's year 10 students participated in the Keys Please program, which focuses on learner drivers. On Friday, year 12 students will attend a RoadSafe Wimmera driver safety seminar called Look After Our Mates.

The program aims to discourage young people from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or letting their friends do likewise.

VCAL students will also participate in a driver's education program in Charlton, which is sponsored by Rupanyup-Minyip Community Bendigo Bank.

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