Cool Heads on tomorrow night

July 17, 2017

Sending a message: Shepparton police Inspector Haydn Downes said he hoped the information given out at Cool Heads may one day save a life.

Confronting, moving, challenging, graphic and shocking are just some of the words that could be used to describe the Cool Heads young driver program.

But it is purposely this way, and so it should be, when you consider the wide-ranging impact that road trauma has on the community. It is imperative that education on the issue is there and that it is delivered in a way that is relevant and leaves a lasting impact on the participants.

Cool Heads has a valuable role to play in the community to inform people about the dangers of poor behaviour on the roads and the potential for terrible consequences.

The program regularly hears from people who know exactly what it’s like to turn up to a nasty accident, that leaves people either dead or with serious injuries they may never recover from.

They are speakers like Victoria Police crash investigators, Shepparton Search and Rescue Squad members, and crash victims and their families.

Stories told are most often emotional, devastating and for many, still very raw.

Accompanying audio-visual elements to the program — many taken from real-life situations — further adds to the harsh reality that can be experienced on the roads. The program offers an unforgettable insight into what these people experience. The key take-home message from Cool Heads is that risky driving behaviours can have dire results.

Drink or drug driving, speeding, hooning, using a mobile phone while driving, not concentrating, or even taking eyes off the road for a split second can change a life. It’s why the court system uses Cool Heads as an educative tool to drivers, particularly young drivers, to try and get them to change their attitudes towards driving.

For offenders who have landed themselves in court on driving matters, whether it be drink-driving, speeding or similar, magistrates feel it is a good option for them.

Having a licence is a privilege, not a right, and all road users must take the responsibility of safety seriously.

While Cool Heads is targeted towards young drivers, the messages are relevant for any audience — they are thought-provoking and resonating.

The program is run multiple times per year in Shepparton, and is being held this Wednesday from 6.30pm at Eastbank Centre. And it’s free. It is an initiative so relevant, not only to young drivers, but to everyone who uses the roads.

Participants will be sure to come out of one of these sessions thinking more about their own driving behaviour and the shocking consequences.

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