Western Sydney based charity the Blue Datto Foundation is confident its new membership with WSBC will engage and activate the local business network to help save lives and prevent injuries, while reducing the staggering costs of road trauma.
Sadly, young people continue to be overrepresented in road trauma statistics, and over the last 10 years a staggering 3,115 young people have been killed on our roads, including 65 on Western Sydney roads. with a further 2,403 hospitalised with serious injuries.
In addition to the immense emotional and social toll this has on families and communities in the Western Sydney region, the financial cost of these crashes is estimated at over $187 million.
As identified in the findings of the ‘Inquiry into the National Road Safety Strategy 2011 – 2020,’ road trauma is fast reaching crisis levels and without changes 12,000 Australians will be killed and 360,000 will be injured at a cost of $300 billion over the next decade.
Launched in 2015 following the death of 17-year-old Philip Vassallo (known as ‘the kid in the Blue Datto,) Blue Datto’s award-winning Keeping Safe program has made a quick impact with young people, road safety stakeholders and the local community.
Targeting pre-drivers aged 15 to 18, the Keeping Safe program aims to reduce ‘risky’ behaviour by equipping young drivers with knowledge, skills and strategies to change the outcome of potentially fatal situations.
Initially delivering Keeping Safe programs to 1,100 youth participants in 2016, the Foundation is on track to celebrate its 20,000th program participant by the year’s end.
Casually employing 35 Peer Mentors who deliver the Keeping Safe programs, this growth has enabled the Foundation to move into its new office and training facility in Penrith.
Plans are also in place to launch new support services for those impacted by road trauma – the likes of which are not currently available in NSW.
“We’ve achieved a lot in the last few years, but there is still so much more that can be done to prevent crashes, as well as protect and support the Western Sydney community,” said Michelle Burman, Blue Datto’s Community Engagement Manager who says there are a number of schools and communities still crying out for financial support to run a Keeping Safe program.
“We’re so grateful for the support of WSBC and hope others within the network are able to get involved and help us achieve real life-saving change, whilst also reducing the staggering costs associated with road crashes and trauma.”
The Foundation is currently supported by WestConnex, Pace Farm, Steggles and the NSW Police Association, as well as by WSBC Platinum Partner World Class Teams.
Any parties interested in supporting Blue Datto should contact:
M: 0411 480 090