ROTARY YOUTH DRIVER AWAREDNESS

Program aims to make our roads safer

More than 500 young people from throughout the Riverina will next week undertake a special program that promotes driver safety.  Called Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA), it’s being organised by Wagga Wagga Rotarians with the support of  local businesses including Hillis Ford and NRMA.

Year 11 students from all schools in the city as well as students from  surrounding centres have been invited to participate. Venue is the Equex Centre with the program running from Tuesday March 27 to March 30.

The unique program attempts to influence attitudes and behaviours of both drivers and passengers before they get their licence.  Research shows that once young people actually start driving, it is generally too late for training as they have already developed a strong – and often incorrect – belief in their own competencies.

RYDA was developed in consultation with the NSW Department of Education and the Roads and Traffic Authority. Presenters are all accredited experts in their fields, including Drug and Alcohol Counsellors, Financial Counsellors, Driving Instructors and Police Officers.

Due to the voluntary nature of Rotary, the program is available at a small cost to the student.  The program covers a broad range of topics including hazard perception, safe stopping distances, insurance and finance, the effects of drugs and alcohol on driving performance, and safe choice-making from a range of perspectives.

“Rotary’s aim is to keep these precious young people alive until they are 25,” said Mary Ann Kelly, chair of the Steering Committee. “Sadly, this age group is over-represented in the deaths and injuries on our roads”.

The RYDA program has received strong support from local communities wherever it has been held across Australia.

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For further information contact Max Chapman on 0427 291052.  Representatives of the media are invited to attend the program on Wednesday March 28 at 10am at Equex. Ask for Harry Nixon.