EMILY McClenaghan from Armidale High School tries on a pair of goggles simulating vision through the eyes of a person affected by alcohol at night.
A group of Year 11 students from Glen Innes High School listen to an emotional talk by Brett Orman, the uncle of Brad Hillier who died in a Tamworth car accident on Fathers Day 2009.
They listen as he tells them how the ex-Oxley High School student’s death affected his family, an accident caused by speed and inattention that could have been avoided.
Mr Orman said he often has one or two students break down in his talk but he continues on as he feels they need to see the other side of driver education.
“The fact is they can read about it in the newspaper or hear about it on the radio, but they need to hear what can happen,” Mr Orman said.
“I don’t believe in wrapping things in cotton wool.”
Mr Orman was just one of the speakers at the 2012 Tamworth Young Drivers’ Expo, held this week at TRECC.
The students also hear from police and emergency personnel who regularly see the aftermath of car accidents. These are just some methods used to help up to 1200 students learn about the consequences of their actions behind the wheel.
Tamworth Regional Entertainment and Conference Centre has been full of high school students this week making their way through the exercises, simulations and role-plays at the expo.
Now in its 16th year, the expo was begun by concerned individuals in conjunction with Tamworth Regional Council after a spate of accidents involving young people in the Tamworth region.
Tamworth Regional Council road safety officer Paul Hobson said even halfway through this year’s expo, it was proving a big success with the students.
“It’s rewarding and worthwhile to see the students come out of the expo looking like they have really learned something,” Mr Hobson said.
“The students really get to see what the outcomes are.”
Tenterfield High School Year 11 student Hannah Moylan said after spending a day at the expo yesterday, she planned on being a more careful driver.
“It was good. We learnt about braking techniques and how driver position affects you in an accident,” Hannah said.
She said she got a shock when trying on the alcohol goggles and said her favourite part of the expo was the role-play performed by Peel High School students.
The students have been practising for the past two months to perfect their roles, simulating a group of bystanders who come across the scene of a serious car accident.
Student Destinee Reiri, who plays a bystander in the role- play, said students’ feedback had been very positive.
“I’ve seen people down the street who’ve been and they’ve all said how great it was.
“It’s about teaching people that they have to stay calm in a emergency,” she said.
The expo ends tomorrow.