For the second year in a row, year 10 students from schools across the region have participated in Road Safety Young Driver Awareness (RYDA) training, aimed at instilling good driving habits in teens before they get behind the wheel.
Run over five days, around 900 students attended a day-long program at the Bundaberg Recreational Precinct led by volunteers from the Rotary Club of Bundaberg and officers from the Queensland Police Service.
Senior Constable Brittany Duncan said the course was all about impressing the importance of road awareness on the students, just as many of them were preparing to get their learner’s licence.
“Wide Bay lead the stats for fatalities in Queensland, this is why this program is so important,” she said.
“We need to ingrain this in the students while they're learning so they can hopefully bring that through their driving years.”
Students heard presentations from motor vehicle accident survivor Steve Richter, local driving instructor Wayne Cameron, and other community members who volunteered their time to share their experiences.
Queensland Police Service officers did speed and stopping distance demonstrations that Rotary Bundaberg Public Image and Membership Director Matt Griffiths said was a favourite with the students.
“We’ve also had great community support from Lindsay Transport who have actually brought up a special road safety trailer,” he said.
“The kids get to hop in a big rig, and they see that the driver can’t see much around that rig.”
Shalom College students Riley Morcom and Emily Parker said the program was helpful in learning what was required to be safe in a car.
“It’s been very eye opening about the dangers of the road and reaction time and how one second could be like life or death,” Emily said.
Support for the week-long program included free venue hire at the Recreational Precinct from Bundaberg Regional Council, Councillors Vince Habermann and May Mitchell who donated their time and refreshments provided by Bundaberg Juice and Woolworths.