CUTTING THE TOLL: Drug and Alcohol Research and Training’s Paul Dillon speaks to young Coffs Coast drivers at today's RRISK seminar at SCU.
CUTTING THE TOLL: Drug and Alcohol Research and Training’s Paul Dillon speaks to young Coffs Coast drivers at today's RRISK seminar at SCU.

Reducing the risks and the young driver road toll

EXPOSURE to the tragic reality of a serious car crash today may have helped to save young lives on the Coffs Coast.

A typical comment made by a student at the Reduce Risk, Increase Student Knowledge seminar was while teenagers learn about the dangers on the road from their parents they need further advice on how to make safer choices in dangerous situations.

That's exactly what the RRISK seminar aimed to achieved.

A crash scenario will be part of the two-day RRISK course being held at Coffs Harbour's Southern Cross University D Block Theatre, November 14 and 15.
A crash scenario will be part of the two-day RRISK course being held at Coffs Harbour's Southern Cross University D Block Theatre, November 14 and 15. Matt Deans

Road toll statistics show that young drivers aged between 17 and 25 are over represented in fatal crashes, yet the good news is that research has shown the RRISK program has effected change over the past 14 years.

A research team from the George Institute of International Health has determined that participating in the RRISK program resulted in a 44% reduced risk of young driver crashes.

"In the last five years, 25 young drivers aged between 17 and 25 years have died on our local roads and 64% of these were males," Coffs Harbour City Council's Roads Safety officer Anne Shearer said.

Studies show young people are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than drivers over the age of 25 and Aussie youth are amongst the heaviest drinkers.

Drug and Alcohol Research and Training's Paul Dillon used his address entitled 'Adolescents and Brain Development' to highlight the link between young driver fatalities and drug and alcohol use.

"In NSW, 45% of young people under 25 are drinking at levels that could pose a serious risk to their health," Paul said.

"Over half of this group regularly drink to intoxication, which places them at risk of injury and alcohol related brain damage."