Making ACT youths safer drivers
ACT Government launches free road-safety awareness course for high school students.
The ACT Government has officially launched a one-day road safety training seminar targeted at 16-18-year-old school students. It is part of a scheme known as the Road Safety Youth Driver Awareness program, or RYDA.
RYDA is a national driver education scheme, with 50,000 students and 650 schools taking part annually.
Aims of the course
Six interactive workshops make up the one-day course, with the aim of helping students learn how to drive safely – but also, how to be a responsible peer passenger. Students work with trained facilitators, local police representatives and community groups.
Topics covered include:
- Hazards and distractions
- Speed and stopping distance
- Vehicle safety
- Effects of fatigue
- Crash survivor accounts
Why is this course needed?
ACT Minister for Road Safety Shane Rattenbury said this course is in response to the 15 young drivers tragically killed while driving on Australian Capital Territory roads over the last decade.
“One life lost on our roads is too many and we must all change our thinking to put the safety of others first so that we can create a safe road network. On the road, we must all work together so everyone gets from point A to point B safely,” Rattenbury said.
The ultimate goal is to give young drivers lifelong safety skills and awareness.
“I am pleased we are supporting initiatives like RYDA which is better preparing them for a lifetime of safe driving,” said Rattenbury.
Why are young drivers at so much risk?
Research has shown that young drivers are twice as likely to die in a road traffic accident. Transport for NSW reported that young drivers are more likely to drink and drive, get behind the wheel when tired, go over the limit and own older car models.
Another New South Wales report discovered young drivers often display poor judgement, underestimate risks or even take chances on purpose. Coupled with their lack of real driving experience it is a dangerous combination.
Do schemes like RYDA work?
Rattenbury said that nationwide evidence suggests the RYDA program and similar schemes along with graduated licensing, are making a difference.
“Across other states and territories there has been a reduction in youth trauma due to extensive learner and provisional driver reforms and safer cars and roads,” Rattenbury said.