By Abbey Cannan
Local students in Year 11 spent the day learning defensive driving tactics at the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness (RYDA) program on Friday 10 May.
The program is run by volunteers from the Rotary Clubs of Noosa, Noosa Heads, Noosa Daybreak and Cooroy joined with trained presenters including the Police, Road Safety Education and Paraplegic Benefit Fund.
The students from St Teresa’s Catholic College went on an excursion to the House With No Steps in Doonan to take part in six interactive workshops designed to teach students strategies to stay safe on the roads.
Students learnt how to improve their driving skills to avoid a crash and met with crash survivor and Injury Prevention Manager Darron Shields from the Paraplegic Benefit Fund (PBF).
Darron spoke to the students about a road accident that he was involved in 17 years ago that left him in a wheel chair.
“We talk to the students about what led to the incident and together they investigate and pin-point what could’ve been changed to prevent the incident from happening.”
“If students could take one thing out of today it would be for them to understand that we’re not bullet-proof.
“We’re not about being the fun police but they need to take ownership for their actions when driving.”
The RYDA Program is delivered each year to over 50,000 senior high school students from more than 650 participating schools.
Noosa Rotary Vice President Tess Alexandroff said it is very important for all students to learn defensive driving skills.
“We’ve been running the program for 10 years in Noosa with the nine schools in our district and today we are putting through our 5000th student,” she said.
RYDA Noosa Chairman Geoff Bone said this program is extremely important because it’s designed to save the lives of inexperienced young adults who are most vulnerable.
“We make sure that they understand it’s their choice to make the right decisions when driving in order to stay safe.”
“The ‘RYDA” Program is delivered free to all Year 11 Students from Cooroy to Coolum.
“Rotary engaging with our Community to Save Lives.”