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The scene was a simulation by actors and real emergency services staff intended to show pupils the consequences of making poor decisions behind the wheel, and formed part of the Survivor 2020 Safer Journeys Expo held at the Edgar Centre.
After watching firefighters cut a seriously injured ‘‘passenger’’ from the wreckage of his car, the pupils took part in a range of workshops aimed at giving new teenage drivers the information they need before they get on the road.
The workshops offered car handling tips from expert drivers, advice concerning modified vehicles and tips to make a difference as a passenger.
The blood-curdling screams of an actor portraying the injured driver in the demonstration left the pupils in stunned silence, but Senior Sergeant Ben Butterfield, of Dunedin, said that was the idea.
‘‘It’s important they understand the consequences of making bad decisions behind the wheel.’’
Liam Gill (16), of Logan Park High School, did not yet have his learner’s licence, but said he was planning on it soon and the ‘‘scary’’ demonstration was a wake-up call.
Learner driver and fellow Logan Park pupil Alice Houston-Page (16) agreed.
‘‘It was confronting. It was valuable to see what could really happen,’’ she said.