Road safety a priority through program

Gary Kirk, Senior Constable Dave Didsman, Judy Peters OAM, Rotary Club of Bundaberg City Daybreak's Nancy Harrison, Rotary Club of Bundaberg's Matt Griffiths and Senior Constable Brittany Duncan.

By Angela Norval

With young people continuing to be over represented in road deaths and serious injuries, The Roadsafety Young Driver Awareness program is the leading and only national road safety education program for youth in Australia, providing young people with the skills and strategies they need to stay safe on the roads.

Held at the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct from 22 to 26 August, the RYDA workshop features highly engaging practical demonstrations, real-life narratives, videos, quizzes and interactive role play.

Bundaberg Police senior constable Brittany Duncan said the RYDA approach supported youth development in a number of areas including social resilience and anticipating and managing risk.

“Created for senior high schools, RYDA gives students a unique opportunity to set road safety goals and build strategies alongside the friends they will most likely be riding with, as drivers or passengers,” she said.

“At the workshop, students attend six interactive sessions at a dedicated venue over the course of a school day.

“Back in the classroom, teachers are everything they need to continue the learning throughout the school year.

“Whether they are the driver or a passenger, every young person contributes to the safety of the road users around them – RYDA helps young people make positive contributions from any seat of the car.

“It’s not only comforting as police to know this education package is being rolled out in our community but it’s comforting as a fellow road user, a parent and friend to many young drivers.

“If this workshop helps save one life or make one right choice on the road then it is a success.

“This particular age group is about to get their learner’s licence if they haven’t already so this workshop will give them the skills to make the right choices on the road and ensure our roads are that bit safer.”

In helping make this program possible, Bundaberg Rotary Club’s Matt Griffiths said it showed just how Rotarians cared about their community.

“Rotary is a key stakeholder in the RYDA program and as such we volunteer our time and expertise to make this important program a success,” he said.

“RYDA actually stands for Roadsafety Young Driver Awareness but we like to feel that the R is also Rotary.

“RYDA is being supported by Rotary in Australia and NZ and is assisted by all Rotary clubs.

“Road safety is such an important area of need in our community and road tragedy doesn’t discriminate. Every life lost or body damaged is a tragedy and the effects are amplified through the first responders, families, friends, and the economic impacts.

“As the old African proverb says, it takes a village to raise a child which is about how it takes an entire community of people to interact with children for them to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment.

“Rotary has numerous health, education and youth-based programs and RYDA is a good fit us to really help make a difference in our community. After al,l the motto of Rotary International is Service Above Self.

“The RYDA program by Road Safety Education Ltd is the only road safety program that links with the Australian school curriculum and is assisted and facilitated with the generous support of local Rotary Clubs and sponsors local and national.

“Parents can have confidence that their children are getting a valuable educational resource that can help assist their child with the development of road safety awareness and thought-provoking sessions with a tried and proven program.”

Schools around the Bundaberg region have been directly contacted by the Bundaberg RYDA committee inviting the Year 10 students from their respective schools and, across all the schools, about 1300 students will attend the workshops.