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Reducing the Road Toll Amongst Young Drivers

Over 400 students from 4 high schools in SA’s Barossa Valley are learning vital skills about road and driver safety by undertaking the RYDA road safety awareness course.

The program, which took out an Australia Day award this year in the Highly Commended for contribution to the community category has given over 2,500 students in the past 11 years the skills to be a safe driver.

RYDA is a community based initiative coordinated through local Rotary Clubs to help make our roads safer, with the generous support from corporate sponsors.

RYDA Program Director Greg Rappo commented on the importance of the course saying, “Getting behind the wheel of a car as a young driver or passenger is said to be among the most dangerous things a person will do in their entire life especially for any young road user in the first six to 12 months of being a solo driver.

“It is a national tragedy that five young people are killed each week on Australia’s roads.

“This is where the work begins…. Educating young people in senior high school and giving them the tools they will use for the rest of their lives,” he said.

This year students will come from Nurioopta High School, Faith Lutheran College, Eudunda Area School and Kapunda High School.

During the program, students attend six interactive sessions at a dedicated venue over the course of a school day.

In small peer groups, they are challenged to change the way they think about road safety; participate in a stopping distance demonstration, devising personalised strategies, gaining an understanding of their individual risk profile and getting tips from road safety experts on how to protect themselves, their friends and family.

“This year there are positive opportunities for schools, parents and young drivers to take responsibly and stop the deaths on our roads,” he said.

“2017 must be seen as the year for action to stop the tragic loss of young lives with parents and schools putting the emphasis on road safety education.”