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26 October 2021

Drive to survive – program delivers a powerful message

“Life is so precious and so fragile, it can be gone in seconds and…

“Life is so precious and so fragile, it can be gone in seconds and that lasts forever.”

They are the words of Glynis Holbrook, whose son, Nicholas, was killed in a devastating car crash in 2009. He was just 18.

“I remember in the weeks and months after Nick died thinking ‘I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to live with this pain’,” she says in one of 13 road-safety advertisements released by SA Police earlier this year.

Glynis Holbrook in the SA Police advertisement.

The Holbrook family’s experience of losing Nicholas, who died after a speeding car being driven by his best mate crashed into a tree, was also shared as part the RAA’s annual Street Smart High road safety program at the Entertainment Centre last week.

Year 11 students from Blackfriars were among thousands of secondary students from schools across SA to attend the event.

The students heard from Nicholas’s father, Michael Holbrook, who shared his family’s pain at the needless death of his son.

Other speakers included Eli Murn, who, in 2004, crashed his car while driving at high speed and under the influence.

Mr Murn, who has an acquired brain injury as a result of the crash, still lives with mobility and memory issues.

Another speaker, Nathan Johnson, spent six months in hospital after losing control of his car and crashing when he was just 21.

He implored students at Street Smart High not to treat the road like a racetrack and to think of the potential consequences of their actions.

The RAA’s tips for parents of young drivers.

According to the RAA, an average of 109 drivers or motorcycles riders under the age of 25 were killed or seriously injured on SA roads between 2016 and 2020 – 79% of those killed were male.

Over the same period, 18 was the most common age to be seriously injured or killed in a crash in SA.

“Young drivers, especially men, tend to be overconfident and are more likely to drive in risky ways: too fast, too close to the vehicle in front and dangerous overtaking,” the RAA says.

“(They) consistently rate their own performance as above average and are more likely to regard good driving as the ability to master the controls of the car at higher speeds.

“Young drivers … are poor at identifying potential hazards and assessing risk and tend to overestimate their ability to avoid hazards and crashes.”

A look back at the 2019 Street Smart High event.

Main picture courtesy RAA.