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Students: “don't be a clown, put your phone down”

Bundaberg State High School
Bundaberg State High School Year 12 students promoting distracted driving awareness.

With the slogan “don't be a clown, put your phone down”, Year 12 students from Bundaberg State High School are highlighting good and bad driving behaviour to help reduce road fatalities among their peers.

Student Shania Mulholland said the Senior Health class project featured studies about road safety and distracted driving among young drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 years old.

“As part of our assessment we are organising a lunchtime event on Monday to target our Years 10, 11 and 12 students to educate them on the risks of driving distracted, and provide them with resources to enhance their behaviour and attitudes towards safety,” she said.

“Although our main target group is senior students at Bundaberg State High School, we are also trying to reach parents and the wider community.”

Video: Paul Donaldson

Student Fatima Clemente said the Year 12 class was trying to target young drivers due to the high percentage of bad driving behavior among the group.

She said drivers aged 16 to 24 accounted for 20% of road deaths in Queensland.

“They are the main group of people who are more likely to be distracted while driving, especially with mobile phones,” she said.

“To make people more aware we have been putting posters around school and on Monday we are having a sausage sizzle event with videos playing about distracted driving to try and encourage students not to pick up their phone while behind the wheel.”

Student Ashlee Pollock said there were many things drivers could do to reduce distraction, including hiding mobile phones.

“The benefit of putting your phone in the boot is it is out of sight- you can't hear it and you are not likely to reach for it,” she said.

“We have found that some of the biggest distractions of driving are mobile phones- including using social media, playing music- but as well as that, there is also your peers who might encourage risky behavior.

“We need to reduce fatalities on the road, especially among young drivers.”

On Monday, the senior cohort will come together at Bundaberg State High School to participate in activities and hear from the school-based police officer on the dangers of distracted driving.

Bundaberg State High School
Bundaberg State High School year 12 student Adam Worden promoting distracted driving awareness.

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