Graphic road safety lesson


“I try to make it as graphic as possible for them,” says Barry Collis, organiser of the ‘docudrama’. After hearing the current road toll statistics, and listening to a 000 call, students walked out of the classroom onto the oval. Sirens. Flashing lights. Emergency service personnel and vehicles are busy. Four of their own classmates are in a crashed car. Cans of alcohol lie next to the car. (ABC Southern Qld: Peter Gunders)


Barry says he won’t use actors to play the victims. “Having the ‘actors’ from their own cohort makes them realise this could happen to one of their own. They’ve seen one of their own dead. One of their own arrested. One of their own with spinal injuries.” Note; no students were harmed in the making of this story. (ABC Southern Qld: Peter Gunders)


Students spent time talking to various professionals after the accident simulation. “The more graphic re-enactments we can make for this age group, the more we’re going to win. We had a doctor, solicitor, police, ambulance, fire brigade, funeral director, and a quadriplegic here to talk to students.” (ABC Southern Qld: Peter Gunders)


Barry Collis (pictured) says it’s all about hammering home consequences. “If you do something stupid out on the road, you have to bear the consequences. Some of those consequences can be devastating. You could end up in jail or with litigation that follows you around for years. You’ve got to take responsibility of your own actions.” (: Peter Gunders)

Four students from Toowoomba Grammar School helped classmates understand the realities and consequences of drink driving today.

Max Ellis played a passenger injured in the accident. “I was a spinal injuries patient. I had to not move, and make sure the paramedics could get me out safely. It was scary when they cut the roof off the top of the car, it showed how real it was.”

Coen Oates fared even worse. He was zipped into a body bag. “It’s pretty confronting. The way they put me in the body bag, and even the way they treated Max and his spinal injuries, it was all so real.”

“I think everyone had a good lesson today,” Oates says.

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