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Local students to learn safe driving with RYDA

RYDA program
Cr Vince Habermann with Rotary Club of Bundaberg's Past President Matt Griffiths to promote the RYDA program which will be held at the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct next year.

Local high school students will be safer on the roads thanks to a collaboration between Bundaberg Police, Rotary and Council to deliver a road safety driver awareness program.

The program, aimed at high school learner drivers, has seen Bundaberg Police, Rotary Club of Bundaberg and Bundaberg Regional Council join forces to teach students ‘attitude and awareness' around safe driving.

Sport and Recreation portfolio spokesperson Cr Vince Habermann said at its 28 September general meeting Council approved the donation of the use of the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct through a fee waiver for the highly engaging Rotary Youth Driver Awareness workshop.

“The Rec Precinct has been offered free of charge for this program for five days with the main pavilion to act as a temporary classroom,” he said.

“The area will be the epi-centre of the program and is where our local students will learn about safe driving and why it is so crucial, not only for their own lives but also for the lives of those around them.

“Council is proud to work with local police and the Rotary Club of Bundaberg to help bring this very important initiative to the region.”

Rotary Youth Driver Awareness
These Isis Year 10 students, all future drivers, were introduced to the harsh realities of road safety at the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness program held at Maryborough Showgrounds earlier this year.

Past President of the Rotary Club of Bundaberg Matt Griffiths said the RYDA program was originally created after four teenage boys were killed in a car driven by an inexperienced P plater in the year 2000.

“The local Rotary Club decided that something had to be done and the first RYDA program was conducted by the St Ives Rotary Club in 2001,” he said.

“This was the beginning of RYDA – a youth driver awareness community-based road safety initiative created to deliver practical road safety information targeting ‘attitude and awareness' of young drivers and passengers.”

Mr Griffiths said the overall aim of Rotary Youth Driver Awareness was to help stop the tragic loss of young people in road crashes.

“RYDA features a highly engaging and memorable one day workshop which front-loads students' understanding of road safety,” he said.

“It gives them the tools, habits and motivation to take action and stay safe on our roads.”

Rotary will fund the cost of the RYDA program including transportation for all year 10 students in the Bundaberg Region along with funding for meals and printed resources.

Senior Constable David Didsman said the RYDA program was an integral initiative aimed at curbing fatalities among young drivers.

“The program has been recognised nationally as a fundamentally crucial instrument in raising awareness of the importance of road safety in this vulnerable age group,” he said.

The Rotary Youth Driver Awareness program will be held for local school students over five days in August 2022 at the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct.

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