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YOUNG DRIVERS MAKE A U-TURN TO SAFER DRIVING

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					            24 May 2004
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      YOUNG DRIVERS MAKE A U-TURN TO SAFER DRIVING

More than 800 high school students from six local schools will be shown through talks, activities
and seminars the importance of safe driving and the consequences of irresponsible road use in a
three day community road safety initiative which begins today.

U Turn The Wheel is an initiative of the Rotary Clubs of the Illawarra and Wollongong City Council,
supported by 15 Government, non-Government and local organisations, aimed at providing vital
road safety information to students who will achieve their licences in the next few years.

Year 11 students from two schools each day will visit the University of Wollongong and take part in
presentations by local Police, car dealers, motorcyclists, truck drivers and health professionals on
topics ranging from speeding and drink driving to tips for buying cars and insurance.

Students will be able to see how a Police radar gun works, participate in a practical session which
demonstrates how seatbelts work in a collision, take part in an interactive drama exercise exploring
risk taking and ‘passenger empowerment’, and hear from survivors of major vehicle crashes.

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Alex Darling, said the statistics concerning young people and road
trauma in the Illawarra strongly supported the organisation of U Turn The Wheel.

“In Wollongong during 2003, there were 17 fatalities on our roads, nine of which were people aged
less than 25 years. A staggering 41 percent of all people killed or injured in crashes on Wollongong
roads were aged between 17 and 25,” Councillor Darling said.

“I have said before this level of road trauma is clearly unacceptable and something must be done
about it. The Roads and Traffic Authority estimate 95 percent of crashes happen because motorists
do not modify their driving to suit the conditions, so education seems to be the best action.”
“I congratulate those organisations which have chosen to take the facts direct to tomorrow’s drivers
through this innovative program and I urge the students taking part to pay special attention to the
advice you will receive as it may one day save your life,” Councillor Darling added.

Those participating in U Turn The Wheel will also be welcomed by former Wollongong Hawks player
Damon Lowrey (Tuesday) and Big Brother 2 winner Peter Corbett (Wednesday) before they begin the
day’s program. The Life Saver helicopter will also visit the event at lunchtime each day.

Schools taking part are the Illawarra Grammar School, St Mary’s Star of the Sea College and Bulli,
Keira, Kanahooka and Corrimal High Schools. U-Turn The Wheel is proudly supported by the
following organisations:

The Rotary Clubs of the Illawarra                     Wollongong City Council
NSW Police                                            NSW Roads and Traffic Authority
Headway                                               Illawarra Area Health Service
Royal Australian Navy                                 Tory Toyota
Dwyers Holden                                         Harrigan Ford
Stay Upright                                          WAVE FM
University of Wollongong                              Go Hire
Peter Corbett                                         The Life Saver Helicopter
Lever Transport

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Lord Mayor will visit the event between 9am and 10.30am
tomorrow (May 25) should interviews/pictures be required.

                Media information:          Paul Jackson 4227 7100 / 0400 466 697

				
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