Crash scene a lesson for teens

20:37, May 22 2014

Students watched on as a mock car crash left a young girl dead and the learner driver in prison.

The simulated crash scene at Manukau's Vodafone Events Centre today was designed to show the dangers and consequences of careless driving.

The learner driver in the scenario was illegally driving with four passengers and became distracted by a mobile phone when he crashed, killing the female passenger.

Paramedics and police took part in the demonstration that went through various scenes from the police station, court room and eventually, the surviving passengers reflecting on their own responsibility in not preventing their friend driving illegally.

More than 600 students from 15 high schools were walked through the performance, as part of road safety week.

It was the first time Auckland Transport has added an interactive element to their road safety exercise.

Auckland Transport community transport manager Michael Brown said the shock tactics of showing a graphic fatal crash worked to an extent but said the more important element was the debriefing and follow-up programs in schools.

"It's that ongoing education that will help get the message through to them," he said.

Brown said the interactive exercise gave students more of an insight into the effects of crashes, rather than just seeing it on TV.

"It means they can feel part of what's happening," he said.

"Instead of having them sit in an audience and be disengaged this is more real to them."

He hoped the students would take away messages on making the right decisions on road safety.

"I think if we preach to them they're not going to listen," Brown said.

"They've got to believe in it. They decide what they take away from it"