EMBARGOED UNTIL March 16, 2020 08:00 AM
Rotary educating the next generation of road users
238 young people aged 17 – 25 died on Australian roads in 2019, a 5% increase on the previous year’s statistics leaving behind devastated families, friends and communities who struggle to understand this pointless loss of life.
But it seems that these fatalities are just the tip of the iceberg. Research shows that for every one death on the road, 30 people are hospitalised, with estimates that approximately 35,000 people are seriously injured each year in crashes on our nations road.
In combating this carnage, road safety authorities have implemented a range of initiatives including safer cars and safer roads, which have seen a significant reduction in the youth road toll over the last decade. However, with the recent spike in youth road deaths, communities are realising that more needs to be done – with increased education for novice drivers now being recognized as the key to reducing youth road trauma.
Recognising that education is a critical element in reducing road trauma, especially for young drivers and their passengers, the combined Rotary Clubs of Wagga Wagga, are continuing their partnership with industry leader, Road Safety Education Limited (RSE) and are once again bringing the award winning youth road safety program RYDA to the community.
Held at the Wagga Wagga Show Ground, RYDA has been embedded in the local community for 14 years – a truly amazing effort, and in 2020 will celebrate their 8,000th student to receive the life saving messages of the RYDA program.
RSE, a national not for profit organisation, is the provider of the RYDA program which runs at around 90 venues across Australia and New Zealand, and has seen over half a million students attend the program to date.
“RYDA is a series of practical and powerful workshops for high school students that challenge students to change the way they think about road safety and lay the foundation for safe road use throughout their lives”, said Greg Rappo, RSE Program Director.
“RYDA focuses on building and increasing social competency and resilience and motivating low-risk behaviour. Trained facilitators work with students to develop and practice personalised strategies which will help them respond positively to challenges on the road, both as drivers and highly influential passengers.” Mr Rappo continued, “This education doesn’t come from driving lessons, or the school classroom”.
RYDA is made possible through the strong support of corporate partners, BOC, Toyota Australia, Bridgestone, MTAA Super and Boral Limited as well as community partner, Rotary.
Max Chapman, RYDA Co-ordinator in Wagga Wagga says, “One of the great things about RYDA is that with the support of local Rotary Clubs, it can be run in all communities, by local road safety and education professionals, including the police”.
“Youth Road Trauma is a community problem that needs a whole of community response.” he said, “Our local rotary club and RSE are in a unique position to bring together all the essential elements to provide an effective and highly successful road safety education program for young people.”
The RYDA program for 2020 starts in Wagga Wagga on 17th March and continues until the 20th March. Opportunities for media will be available daily between 9.30 and 2.30.
Further information can be found at www.rse.org.au
Key Facts and Figures
Venue: Wagga Wagga Show Ground
Dates: 17, 18, 19 & 20 March, 2020
Time: 9.30 - 2 pm
Road Safety Education Limited, a national, not for profit organisation is committed to reducing trauma on our roads by educating young people in senior high school, through its flagship program, RYDA.
Max Chapman - 0427 291 052
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