Program reduces risk of crashing

HIGH school students in the Tweed region will participate in the only school-based educational program to have resulted in a reduction in road crashes.

Eight schools and 770 year 11 students will attend the Reduced Risk, Increase Student Knowledge (RRISK) program at the Civic Centre on November 20 and 23.

It is a one-day seminar consisting of peer training workshops aimed to teach students how to apply practical solutions to risky situations in their social lives, including peer pressure of drugs and alcohol, looking after friends and developing safer behaviour as drivers and passengers.

The George Institute of International Health recognised participation with RRISK has a 44 percent reduced risk of crashes for young drivers.

Coordinator of Alcohol Projects with North Coast Area Health Service, Reyna Dight, said RRISK had a much broader focus compared to other road safety programs.

“This latest research goes further in endorsing our resilience approach as a more effective way of designing young driver education programs to reduce injury and death,” she said.

Drugs and road safety officer with the Catholic Education Office, Lismore, Sue Hetherington, said the seminars included peer facilitators demonstrating how to respond to an emergency situation.

“The RRISK program is constantly being improved to keep it relevant to young people,” she said.

RRISK was developed in 1999 and reaches more than 3600 students from 48 high schools in the north coast of New South Wales. Schools in the Tweed region participating include: Tweed River High School; St Joseph’s College, Banora Point; Banora Point High School; Kingscliff High School; Willoughby Public School; Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School; Mt St Patricks; and Murwillumbah High School.

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